Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar has arrived in the Parliament to take oath as a member of Rajya Sabha today. Tendulkar is scheduled to take the oath in the chamber of Chairman Hamid Ansari.
President Pratibha Patil had approved the cricket legend's name along with Bollywood actor Rekha and businesswoman Anu Aga in April for the Upper House of the Parliament. The approval had come after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrote to the President with the government's recommendations.
While Rekha and Aga were sworn in in May, Sachin could not take oath earlier due to his IPL commitments. The IPL ended only on May 27th.
Indian skipper MS Dhoni said yesterday that his senior team-mate will make a contribution as a Rajya Sabha member. "This (Rajya Sabha) is a new avenue for him and I am sure he will do well and contribute there also," Dhoni said.
He said Tendulkar has excelled in cricket and in whatever he has done so far. "I would like to wish him all the very best. He has been contributing in cricket and has done well in every field," he added.
World chess champion Viswanathan Anand also said that Sachin Tendulkar serving as a Rajya Sabha member would be a big step in his life and wished the cricket legend enjoys his new role. "I hope he (Tendulkar) enjoys his role and he is able to do it very well. It's a big step for him and I think he will enjoy it," Anand said.
Sachin's inclusion in the Rajya Sabha comes at a time when many have asked why he has not been given the nation's highest civilian honour - the Bharat Ratna. In March, Sachin became the only cricketer to get a hundred centuries in international cricket. Politicians, who are not from the Congress, as well as analysts, have said that by accepting the government's nomination, Sachin will be seen as aligned with the Congress. This, they argue, could dent his standing as a man who has been careful to avoid any public affiliation with a political party. "It is Sachin's and the Congress' personal matter. But I feel more than a seat, he should be given a Bharat Ratna," BJP leader Gopinath Munde had said.
In 2009, Sachin took on two political parties - the Shiv Sena, which is headed by Bal Thackeray, and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, launched by Mr Thackeray's estranged nephew, Raj. Both parties were pushing a strong anti-immigrant campaign in an attempt to woo voters in Maharashtra. "Mumbai belongs to India. That is how I look at it. And I am a Maharashtrian and I am extremely proud of that but I am an Indian first," Sachin had said.
Process of nomination to Rajya Sabha
Under article 80 of the Constitution, the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) is composed of not more than 250 members, of whom 12 are nominated by the President of India from amongst persons who have special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as literature, science, art and social service.
In practice, the Home Ministry finalises on the names and notifies the process. The Prime Minister then writes to the President with the government's recommendations through the Home Ministry. Usually, consent is sought before a person's name is recommended for nomination to the Upper House.