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Political pitch awaits Sachin
Prez approves RS nomination of cricket icon, actress Rekha & industrialist Anu Agha
Faraz Ahmad
Tribune News Service


Anu Agha
Anu Agha

New Delhi, April 26
Cricket titan Sachin Tendulkar is set to enter the Rajya Sabha after President Pratibha Devisingh Patil today approved his nomination to the House.

Along with the ace batsman, the names of yesteryear actress Rekha and noted industrialist Anu Agha have also been cleared.

Sachin accompanied by his wife Anjali and IPL chairman and BCCI member Rajiv Shukla called on Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who reportedly made the formal offer and the cricketer gladly accepted it.

Hours later a Rashtrapati Bhawan source confirmed that the President had approved the nomination of these three eminent personalities to the House of Elders.

Sachin (39) will be the first major sportsperson and cricketer to enter the Rajya Sabha. Former cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin is already a Lok Sabha MP.

In the past, Rajiv Gandhi had brought in former hockey star Aslam Sher Khan to Parliament. Khan was elected to the Lok Sabha.

The UPA government has been under tremendous pressure to suitably reward Sachin, who has brought several laurels to the country. There has been a strong demand for conferring of Bharat Ratna on him for his contribution to the game.

Earlier, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had written to the Home Ministry to seek its opinion on the choice of candidates.

Politicians of all hues have welcomed Sachin’s nomination to the Rajya Sabha “He deserved this,” said AICC general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi. BJP chief spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “Sachin is a great player. We are proud of him.”

Najma Heptullah said, “We are very happy that Sachin’s name has been proposed for Rajya Sabha.” However, the move hasn’t gone down well with the cricket fraternity. “I don't think it is a great idea. He doesn't have the experience of governing or doing social work. People are trying to gain mileage out of Tendulkar,” said cricket analyst Harsha Bhogle.

Equally significant is the nomination of the glamorous actress of yesteryears Rekha or Rekha Ganesan, known for her brilliant and emotional portrayals.

In the past, eminent personalities like directors Shyam Benegal, Mrinal Sen, thespian Dilip Kumar and playback singer Lata Mangeshkar have been the nominated to the Rajya Sabha and so have noted script writer and lyricist Javed Akhtar and earlier his actress wife Shabana Azmi.

Interestingly, only two days back Jaya Bachchan was again sworn in as the Rajya Sabha MP from the Samajwadi Party and now Rekha, once romantically linked with Jaya’s husband Amitabh, might share the same bench with her.





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