Professor and RSS supporter Rakesh Sinha and classical dancer Sonal Mansingh were among 4 people nominated by President Ram Nath Kovind to the Rajya Sabha on Saturday, July 14. Under the Under Article 80 of the Constitution, the President has the power to nominate 12 people to the Upper House with good experience and those who have attained a special knowledge in literature, science, the art of social service.
Other nominations are sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra, farmer leader Ram Shakal. The new nominations came after seats were vacated due to the retirement of members: Sachin Tendulkar, Rekha, Anu Aga and K Parasaran.
Rakesh Sinha, a staunch RSS supporter who is mostly seen on Prime Time debates these days, is a professor at Motilal Nehru College, Delhi University. He is also a board member of Indian Council of Social Science Research.
Raghunath Mohapatra is a recipient of Padma Vibhushan (2013), Padma Bhushan (2001) and currently the president of the Odisha Lalit Kala Akademi.
Ram Shakal is a three-time MP from Robertsganj constituency of Uttar Pradesh. The Dalit leader hails from Baiswar community, Madhya Pradesh.
Sonal Mansingh is an eminent classical dancer who specializes in Bharatanatyam and Odissi. She received Padma Vibhushan in 2003 and Padma Bhushan in 1992.
The other nominated members nominated are boxer Mary Kom, columnist Swapan Dasgupta, BJP members Subramanian Swamy, Roopa Ganguly, Suresh Gopi among others.