After winning all the accolades and establishing ‘unbreakable’ landmarks in the cricket arena, what does Sachin Tendulkar do next? The cricket icon will take off his pads to enter the House of Elders, Rajya Sabha.
Sachin Tendulkar, who turned 39 on Tuesday, will now become a Parliamentarian with the government nominating him to Rajya Sabha, along with actress of yesteryear Rekha and industrialist Anu Aga. The nomination of all three eminent personalities was tonight approved by President Pratibha Patil.
39-year-old Tendulkar, who has brought many a laurel to the country through his exploits in the game, and Rekha, known for her brilliant and emotional portrayals in Hindi cinema in the 80s, will become members of Parliament under a provision of the constitution that allows the President to nominate 12 members to the Upper House.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sent a communication to the Ministry of Home Affairs yesterday which has been sent to President Pratibha Patil for notification, sources said.
Article 80 of the Constitution provides for nomination of persons having special knowledge or practical experience in matters such as literature, science, art and social service.
57-year-old Rekha was one of the top heroines of the 80s in Hindi films and and had won several national awards in her acting career.
Tendulkar's nomination to Rajya Sabha has come as a surprise against the backdrop of a long-standing demand for conferring of Bharat Ratna on him for his contribution to the game. He completed the historic achievement of scoring 100 international centuries in March this year.
Earlier in the day, Sachin and his wife Anjali paid a courtesy visit to Congress President Sonia Gandhi at her 10 Janpath Residence in New Delhi.
Officially the Congress maintained that the party supremo wanted to meet the cricketer to personally congratulate him on scoring 100 international centuries recently. But there’s speculation that the topic of discussion could have been Sachin’s nomination to the Upper House.
Senior BCCI functionary and IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla was also present at Sonia Gandhi's residence.
Tendulkar would be the first active sportsman and a cricketer to be nominated to Rajya Sabha. The House already has a member from the film world in Javed Akhtar, an eminent lyricist and script writer in Hindi cinema. Under the anti-defection law, a nominated member has the option to give a declaration within six months if he wants to associate himself with a political party in the House.
The Mumbai Indians batsman, who turned 39 on Tuesday, is in capital for an IPL match against Delhi Daredevils tomorrow.