Former MP Ram Shakal, RSS ideologue Rakesh Sinha, classical dancer Sonal Mansingh and stone artist Raghunath Mohapatra were today nominated to the Rajya Sabha.
The nominations were made by President Ram Nath Kovind on the advice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement.
The official statement said:
In exercise of the powers conferred by Article 80 of the Constitution of India, and on the advice of the Prime Minister, the President of India is pleased to make the following four nominations to the Rajya Sabha.
Shri Ram Shakal: He is an eminent people’s leader and public representative from Uttar Pradesh, who has devoted his life for the welfare and well-being of the Dalit community. A farmer leader, he is widely respected for championing the cause of farmers, labourers and migrants. He has also been a three-time Member of Parliament, representing Robertsganj constituency of Uttar Pradesh.
Shri Rakesh Sinha: A respected and widely read author, Shri Rakesh Sinha is the Founder and Honorary Director of the Delhi-based think-tank “India Policy Foundation.” A Professor of Motilal Nehu College of Delhi University, he is also currently a member of the Indian Council of Social Science Research. He is a regular columnist in a range of newspapers.
Shri Raghunath Mohapatra: He is an internationally renowned authority on stone carving. Practicing since 1959, he has trained over 2000 students. He has contributed to the preservation of traditional sculpture and ancient monuments, and has worked on the beautification of the Sri Jagannath Temple, Puri. His famous works include a 6 feet high statue of the Sun God carved in grey sandstone, in the Central Hall of Parliament; and the Wooden Buddha, Buddha Temple, Paris.
Smt Sonal Mansingh: She is among India’s foremost exponents of Indian Classical Dance. She has been performing Bharatnatyam and Odissi for over six decades. She is also a well-known choreographer, teacher, orator and social activist. She founded the Centre for Indian Classical Dances, in Delhi in 1977.
The statement also gave a background on the announcement saying that Article 80(1)(a) read with Article 80(3) of the Constitution of India provides that the President can nominate to Rajya Sabha, 12 persons having special knowledge, or practical experience in respect of literature, science, art and social service. There were, currently, eight nominated members in the Rajya Sabha, and hence, four vacancies.