'I've nothing personal against Tendulkar'
While the entire nation is waiting with sheer eagerness to see Master Blaster take oath as a Rajya Sabha member, 79-year-old Ram Gopal Singh Sisodia, who claims to be an ardent fan of the cricketer, had moved Delhi High Court challenging Sachin Tendulkar’s very nomination as a member of parliament.
However, Sisodia claims he has nothing personal against Tendulkar. Speaking to MiD DAY, he said that he respects Tendulkar like millions of Indians. “However, this is not the way to honour him,” he said, adding that the constitution clearly states who all can be nominated to the Rajya Sabha.
“If the Congress wanted to honour him, it could have given him a respectable position in the party. It’s simply unacceptable to use the country’s parliament for political benefits and appeasement. It is the parliament of the Republic of India, and not an akhara,” said Sisodia.
A former journalist, Sisodia said that he has been in active politics for the past 60 years. “However, I have not seen such an illegal appointment to the parliament so far,” he said.
Why not Anna?
Soon after Tendulkar was nominated for the Upper House, Sisodia had written to president Pratibha Patil and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. But he said nobody bothered to respond.
“If the government really wants to honour eminent people and nominate them to the Rajya Sabha then it should have nominated people like Anna Hazare, who have been into social service since long. However, it won’t do so for obvious reasons,” he added.
Earlier in the day, the Delhi High Court refused to restrain Sachin Tendulkar from taking oath as Rajya Sabha member. However, it sought the Central government’s response on the petition by Sisodia.
A division bench of acting Chief Justice AK Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai directed the government to file its reply by July 5, the next date of hearing.
Sisodia had first gone to the apex court with his petition. But the court declined to entertain it and asked him to move the appropriate high court with his plea.