NEW DELHI: A Bharat Ratna might still be a little distant, but cricket icon Sachin Tendulkarwill soon be an MP. This will be the first time an active cricketer, rather any sportsperson, has been nominated to the Rajya Sabha. On Thursday, the government nominated Sachin along with veteran actor Rekha and spunky business leader Anu Aga.
Sachin’s nomination to the Rajya Sabha 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 can’t, would this Rajya Sabha entry really enhance Sachin’s stature?
Senior government figures, including minister of state for parliamentary affairs Rajiv Shukla, have been in touch with Sachin for the past couple of weeks – obviously in the hope that Sachin’s acceptance of a Rajya Sabha nomination would help burnish the government’s credentials.
The calculation appeared correct as no one, including the Opposition, had anything but a welcome for the immensely popular cricket superstar.
Sachin, it is said, had sought time to think over the offer. A week ago, he conveyed his acceptance to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. The news of his nomination, along with that of Rekha and Anu Aga, broke when Sachin with his wife Anjali came to meet Sonia Gandhi at 10 Janpath in the company of Rajiv Shukla.