Rajya Sabha nominees include ex-BJP MP Ram Shakal, RSS ideologue Rakesh Sinha, sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra, dancer Sonal Mansingh.
New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind, on the recommendation of the Government of India, has nominated Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideologue Rakesh Sinha; well-known exponent of classical dance, Sonal Mansingh; artiste Raghunath Mohapatra, and former UP MP and Dalit leader Ram Shakal to the Rajya Sabha.
The Constitution provides that the President can nominate 12 MPs to Rajya Sabha with special knowledge, or practical experience in respect of literature, science, art and social service. There were, currently, eight nominated members in the Rajya Sabha.
Rakesh Sinha is a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader and is also the founder and Honorary Director of the Delhi-based think-tank "India Policy Foundation." Apart from being an author and a columnist, Rakesh Sinha is also an associate professor at Delhi University's Motilal Nehru College.
Sonal Mansingh, Padma Vibhushan winner, is an acclaimed Odissi and Bharatanatyam dancer. A renowned choreographer, teacher, orator and social activist, Sonal Mansingh founded the Centre for Indian Classical Dances in Delhi in 1977.
Raghunath Mohapatra is an architect and sculptor from Odisha who received the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan. Among his famous works are a six-feet high statue of the Sun God in the Central Hall of Parliament and the Wooden Buddha in Paris' Buddha Temple.
Ram Shakal is a former BJP lawmaker and was a three-term Member of Parliament from Uttar Pradesh's Robertsganj constituency. As farmer leader, Shakal, has worked for farmers, labourers and migrants.