President Ram Nath Kovind has made four nominations to Rajya Sabha to fill the vacant seats. On Saturday Rashtrapati Bhawan announced the nominees – former BJP lawmaker Ram Shakal, RSS ideologue Rakesh Sinha, sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra and classical dancer Sonal Mansingh.
According to the Article 80(1) (a) of the Constitution and on the advice of the Prime Minister, the President of India can make 12 nominations to the Rajya Sabha. The nominees have special knowledge or experience in fields like literature, art, science and social service.
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Ram Shakal, a public representative from Uttar Pradesh has worked for the well-being and upbringing of the Dalit community. Shakal was a former-BJP lawmaker and a 3-time Member of Parliament from Robertsganj constituency of Uttar Pradesh.
Rakesh Sinha is the founder and honorary director of the Delhi-based think-tank ‘India Policy Foundation’. Apart from being an author, Sinha is also a professor of political science at Motilal Nehru college of Delhi University.
Raghunath Mohapatra is a well-known architect and sculptor. He has been awarded the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan. His 6-feet high statue of the Sun God graces the Central Hall of Parliament and the Wooden Buddha, Buddha Temple, Paris.
Sonal Mansingh is considered one of India’s foremost exponents of Indian classical dance. She has been performing Bharatnatyam and Odissi for over six decades. She founded the Centre for Indian Classical Dances in Delhi in 1977.
The nominations were declared after four Rajya Sabha members – legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, veteran actress Rekha, social activist Anu Agha and veteran lawyer K Parasaran – retired in April.