Zeenews Sports Bureau
New Delhi: He has never set a foot wrong in the cricket field or off it. But now, Sachin Tendulkar finds himself in the middle of an altogether different ball game as he is likely to begin his political innings by taking oath as a Rajya Sabha MP today.
On Thursday, the government had 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.
Tendulkar, accompanied by his wife Anjali, had met Congress president Sonia Gandhi at her residence on Thursday and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had sent a communication to the Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday which was sent to President Pratibha Patil for notification, sources said.
The Little Master who turned 39 on Tuesday, has scored 51 centuries from 188 Tests and 49 tons from 463 ODIs he has played so far in his international career spanning nearly 23 years. Tendulkar would be the first active sportsman and a cricketer to be nominated to Rajya Sabha.
Tendulkar`s nomination to the Upper House has come as a surprise to many. Nonetheless, the chorus to confer him with the Bharat Ratna for bringing laurels to the country has been doing the rounds for long. People from all walks of life, from politicians to sportsperson to movie stars have been demanding that he be bestowed with the highest honour in the country.
With Sachin still going strong and retirement not in the offing for the time being, it will be interesting to see whether the batting legend can take out time to attend the Parliament. The duration of the membership of the Rajya Sabha is for six years.
A nominated member can also associate himself with a political party in the House provided he gives a declaration within six months.
Meanwhile the BCCI welcomed Sachin’s nomination to the Rajya Sabha, saying that the iconic batsman deserves such an honour.
BCCI Chief Administrative Officer Prof Ratnakar Shetty said that the Board was happy with the government`s move. "We (BCCI) are happy that Tendulkar`s services as a sportsperson has been recognised. He`s been a true ambassador for the country and he deserves it," he said.
(with PTI inputs)