President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday nominated four people to the Rajya Sabha – classical dancer Sonal Mansingh, sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra, former Bharatiya Janata Party MP Ram Shakal, and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh member and author Rakesh Sinha.
“Ram Shakal is an eminent people’s leader and public representative from Uttar Pradesh, who has devoted his life for the welfare and well-being of the Dalit community,” the Prime Minister’s Office said. “A farmer leader, he is widely respected for championing the cause of farmers, labourers and migrants.”
Mohapatra is an architect and sculptor from Odisha who received the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan. The sculptor is an internationally recognised authority on stone carving.
Mansingh is an acclaimed Odissi and Bharatanatyam dancer who was born in Mumbai. The Padma Vibhushan winner founded the Centre for Indian Classical Dances in Delhi in 1977.
Sinha is a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader, Delhi University associate professor, author and columnist. He is also the honorary director of Delhi-based think tank India Policy Foundation.
The nominees will replace sportsman Sachin Tendulkar, actor Rekha, businesswoman Anu Agha, and former Attorney General of India K Parasaran.
The president can nominate 12 members to the Rajya Sabha who have expertise in the fields of literature, science, art and social service. With Kovind’s nominations, the four vacant seats have been filled.