New Delhi: Post the initial euphoria over Sachin Tendulkar’s new innings as Member of Parliament, voices of dissent emerged, Friday, amid suggestions that the batting mastero has been invited to join the Congress.
The government had, yesterday, nominated Sachin along with veteran actor Rekha and business leader Anu Aga to the Rajya Sabha, which was approved by the President of India, Smt. Pratibha Patil under Article 80 of the Constitution that allows the President to nominate 12 members to the 250-member Upper House.
However, what created a buzz in Delhi’s power circles was Tendulkar’s meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi at her residence prior to the announcement by the government.
The Shiv Sena, though in favour of his nomination to the Raj Sabha, cautioned him against joining “any” party.
Party leader Sanjay Raut said, “Sachin’s Rajya Sabha nomination is welcome…he is still playing. Congress has been cornered from all sides and this has been done to divert attention.”
On the issue of Sachin joining the Congress, Raut said, “We know Sachin, his family; he won’t do it. He was never aligned to any party and he will never be…he should be wary of Congress…he should not become Congress MP Sachin Tendulkar.”
CPI veteran Gurudas Dasgupta too welcomed Sachin’s entry in Rajya Sabha but questioned the timing by pointing out that Bengal Tiger Saurav Ganguly should have also been considered when he was in the prime of his career.
He opined that Rajya Sabha nomination should not come across that only cricket is being patronised. Other sportspersons should also be given a chance, he said.
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said, “I welcome Sachin, it is for him to choose party.”
Expectedly, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni hailed the nomination of Sachin Tendulkar for Rajya Sabha saying it was a "very good step".
Congress MP from north Mumbai Sanjay Nirupam said, “Sachin deserves every bit and more. He also deserves a Bharat Ratna. I whole heartedly welcome this decision,” he said.
More importantly, reports said that Sachin has been given the offer to join the Congress. Party leaders feel that Sachin’s entry into the party will help improve its standing, especially after the series of debacles it has encountered in the recent past.