President Pratibha Patil approves Sachin Tendulkar’s nomination to Rajya Sabha

On Thursday, the Manmohan Singh government nominated Sachin Tendulkar along with veteran actor Rekha and spunky business leader Anu Aga for Rajya Sabha. The Times Of India writes that a Bharat Ratna might still be a little distant, but cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar will soon be an MP and this will be the first time that an active cricketer, rather any sportsperson, has been nominated to the Rajya Sabha.

“Sachin’s nomination to the House of Elders took political circles by surprise, even though it was in the works for a while. Cricket lovers, too, were bemused with many wondering how an active cricketer who is on the road for around 250 days a year will be able to do justice to his parliamentary duties; and if he couldn’t, would the Rajya Sabha entry really enhance his stature,” adds the report in TOI.

Meanwhile The Tribune writes that cricket titan Sachin Tendulkar is set to enter the Rajya Sabha after President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on Thursday approved his nomination to the House.

“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,” says The Tribune report.

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.

According to a Hindustan Times report the reactions varied to batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar's nomination to the Rajya Sabha, with some welcoming the move and others critical of his new role, which will deprive him from playing. Social activist Anna Hazare, who is in Mumbai for a two-day trip for consultations on the Lokayukta bill, welcomed the move. However, he mentioned that he is more interested in a corruption-free nation more than anything else at this point.

Information and broadcasting minister Ambika Soni in New Delhi on Thursday hailed the nomination of Sachin Tendulkar for Rajya Sabha saying it was a "very good step".

Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray also reserved his comments. “Whether or not the Congress gives Tendulkar a Rajya Sabha seat or not, it is between them. I do not want to say anything about this,” he said.

However, Congress MP from north Mumbai Sanjay Nirupam welcomed the move. “Sachin deserves every bit and more. He also deserves a Bharat Ratna. I whole heartedly welcome this decision,” he said.