Economy

UPA wants Sachin to pad up for Rajya Sabha

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 26, 2012

Sachin Tendulkar





In a smart political move, the United Progressive Alliance Government has decided to nominate cricket star Sachin Tendulkar to the Rajya Sabha. After getting the legendary cricketer's nod, the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, has directed the Union Home Ministry on Thursday to forward the proposal to the President, Pratibha Patil. Among other firsts in his career, Tendulkar is now the first cricketer to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha.

For Tendulkar, who turned 39 on Tuesday, the decision came as a belated birthday gift. There were demands from various corners to confer him Bharat Ratna, to which the government was not keen on. The UPA government's new move is also seen as an attempt to pacify the millions of fans of Tendulkar.

After his statement that “Mumbai belongs to all Indians,” the Congress has always tried to stand with him. BCCI office bearer and MoS Parliamentary affairs Rajiv Shukla, who defended him when Shiv Sena criticised his remarks, accompanied Tendulkar and his wife Dr Anjali Tendulkar to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi's house today morning.

Hours after his meeting with Sonia, Congress circles confirmed that the Prime Minister has directed the Home Ministry that Presidential ascent should be sought to nominate Tendulkar to Rajya Sabha.

The Congress and many possible “neighbours” of Tendulkar were upbeat over the decision. “We will throw a googly and he will bat,” said Congress spokesperson and MP Renuka Choudhary. Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien, who sits near the benches for nominated members said Sachin is likely to get seat number 100 in the Rajya Sabha, presumably in recognition of his feat of scoring 100 internation centuries.

“Currently seat number 100 in Rajya Sabha is Ashok Ganguly, former Chairman HLL. He just told me he'll move to a nearby seat and give Sachin 100,” O'Brien tweeted.

Congress insiders said the decision to nominate 39-year-old Sachin to Rajya Sabha will be appreciated by the youth in the country. “Usually, senior people, who have made a mark in their respective fields, are nominated to the Rajya Sabha. Sachin is still playing,” a Congress MP said adding that the move will benefit his party.

jigeesh.am@thehindu.co.in

Published on April 26, 2012

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