Sachin’s Rajya Sabha entry evokes mixed reactions

New Delhi, April 27: A day after the government decided to nominate cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar to the Rajya Sabha, parliament galleries were abuzz with discussion on the new entrant, and the move evoked a mixed response from members.

While some feel Tendulkar’s nomination will inspire the young, some feel apprehensive about whether the cricketer would be able to attend the upper house. Some others sought to know if cricket was the only sport being patronised by government, and questioned its motives.

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar welcomed the government decision, calling Tendulkar an “able person”.

“He is a very able person, we all have seen how responsibly he performs his duty. We are very happy that he is coming to parliament,” she told reporters.

Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh also called it a “good decision”.

Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay said it is “one of the finest decisions”.

“Young people of the country will be inspired,” he said.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ravi Shakar Prasad said if Tendulkar joins parliament, he would be expected to attend it as well.

“Sachin is a great player and we are proud of him. If Sachin is being nominated, surely he would devote some time to parliament,” said Prasad.

Communist Party of India leader Gurudas Dasgupta, however, said that only cricket and cricketers could not be promoted.

“It should not look like they are patronising only cricket. There are several sportsmen and sportswomen apart from cricketers about whom government needs to think…” he said.

In a veiled criticism of the government, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief and newly elected Rajya Sabha member Mayawati said she “knew very well the intentions of the Congress Party (behind nominating people such as Tendulkar and film actress Rekha)”.

She was responding to questions on whether the Congress was trying to save the image of the government by roping in people like Tendulkar and Rekha at a time when it has been hit by allegations of scams.

“People from all walks of life are entering parliament and Sachin is a new entry. People continue to contribute to their fields of achievement as well as parliament. I hope Sachin will also be able to do the same,” she said.

IANS