New Delhi: The Indian president has approved Sachin Tendulkar's nomination to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Parliament. Tendulkar met the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday and was offered a seat in the upper house's nominated category. He accepted the offer and his name went from the prime minister's office to the home ministry, and then the office of the President, who formally approved the candidature.
Tendulkar will fill one of 12 seats in the Rajya Sabha that are reserved for those persons "having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as literature, science, art and social service." Tendulkar is the first sportsman to be nominated in this category, which has no election process. (Former Indian hockey captain Dilip Tirkey, who took oath as a Rajya Sabha yesterday, was elected.) Previous nominated MPs, who serve a six-year term, include the musician Ravi Shankar, the singer Lata Mangeshkar and the artist MF Husain.
Tendulkar's nomination had not been expected to meet with much opposition, given his stature in India. The nomination came from the ruling Congress party, which is currently fighting political battles on various fronts. Before meeting the prime minister, Tendulkar and his wife Anjali met the Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who reportedly congratulated him on his hundred international centuries.