New Delhi: Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar will be a Member of Parliament now. In a sudden move, the President approved his nomination to the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
The Centre had recommended his name along with three others and the cricket legend accepted the offer after a meeting with Sonia Gandhi in the capital on Thursday.
This is the first time that an active sportsperson has been nominated to the Upper House of Parliament. The Master blaster just turned 39 last week, and is yet to retire from international cricket. He is expected to be away on cricket duty through 2013.
The move to nominate him has been welcomed from across the political spectrum, including the Congress as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Welcoming the move, the BJP has expressed hope that the iconic batsman will devote time to Parliament.
BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “Sachin is a great player and we are proud of him. If Sachin is being nominated, surely he would devote some time to Parliament.”
Another BJP leader, Najma Heptullah, said there could not have been a better choice than Sachin.
She said, “I am happy for Sachin. Last time when I spoke to the media on his birthday, I had said that I hope that government nominates him for Rajya Sabha. There is no one better than Sachin. I am happy.”
The Congress in its reaction was short and crisp.
“It would be nice if Sachin comes to Parliament,” said Congress leader Renuka Chaudhary.
Though the politicians seem to speak in one voice, not everyone is convinced. The issue of the nomination of the cricket player was discussed by IBN18 Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai on India@9 on Thursday.
Sanjay Manjrekar, a former teammate of the cricket legend said he was shocked at the news.
He said, “I am shocked. It needs to be seen if he can take out time. Expect him to bring some change.”
Though senior journalist and Rajya Sabha MP H K Dua defended the move, he also had a word of caution.
“I will be disappointed if Sachin joins a political party,” said Dua.
Meanwhile, the government has also recommended actress Rekha and industrialist Anu Agha to be members of the Rajya Sabha.
The move has been taken under a provision of the constitution which allows the President to appoint 12 members to the Upper House from fields of film, culture, business and others.