Will Sachin in RS put an end to his cricketing career?
There is a buzz that Sachin Tendulkar's nomination to the Rajya Sabha was masterminded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India. Renu Mittal reports.
Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, actress Rekha and industrialist Anu Agha will be nominated by the President of India to the Rajya Sabha.
Out of the five vacancies for the presidential nominations, the government has at the moment decided to fill only three, while two nominations are yet to come. The government is likely to nominate a leader of a non-governmental organisation as well as a scientist to the Rajya Sabha.
Tendulkar is the first sportsman to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha, if you discount wrestler Dara Singh. Since Tendulkar is still actively playing for the country and has refused to retire even after completing 100 international centuries, his nomination is a double-edged sword.
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Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar's political ideology unknown
On the one hand the Congress may like to take credit for bringing in one of India's biggest youth icons and cricketing personalities into the Rajya Sabha, another section says the move was, probably, masterminded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India bosses of which Union minister Rajiv Shukla is a part. They believe that the move is to ensure Tendulkar gives up active cricket and focuses on attending Parliament.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has already said they hope he will be able to give time to cricket and would not be an absentee member. The BCCI has welcomed the step to bring Tendulkar to Parliament as a nominated member. Since Tendulkar is an apolitical person who has never taken part in any political activity or in any social cause, it is not clear what his political ideology is -- if at all he has any.
However, what is known is that Tendulkar has very close and strong links with industrialist Mukesh Ambani and his wife Nita. It is also well-known that Mukesh Ambani wields a great deal of influence over the present government headed by Dr Manmohan Singh, while Shukla is also known to have very close and strong links with Mukesh Ambani.
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Image: Nita and Mukesh Ambani
Photographs: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters
Rekha to counter Jaya Bachchan?
It is interesting that Sonia Gandhi also wants to send the message that she is responsible for bringing him to the Rajya Sabha. She personally met both Sachin and his wife Anjali when they called on her at 10 Janpath where she conveyed to them how happy she was to see him in the upper house.
Agha, who till recently was heading Thermax industries based in Pune, was a housewife but when her husband died she took over the company and took it to great heights. She is known to be close to Sonia Gandhi and was also a member of the National Advisory Council.
Actress Rekha is of course a very interesting choice considering that the decision to nominate her comes close on the heels of Jaya Bachchan being brought to the Rajya Sabha by the Samajwadi Party. The main question doing the rounds in Parliament and the Congress is whether the Congress has brought Rekha to counter Jaya and Amitabh Bachchan. With the two leading ladies of Amitabh Bachchan now in the same house veteran Parliament watchers are expecting drama in the house of elders.