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President Nominates Ram Shakal, Raghunath Mohapatra, Sonal Mansingh, Rakesh Sinha to Rajya Sabha

Farmer leader Ram Shakal, author and columnist Rakesh Sinha, sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra and classical dancer Sonal Mansingh will replace Sachin Tendulkar, Rekha, Anu Agha and K Parasaran, whose Rajya Sabha terms ended earlier this year.

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Updated:July 14, 2018, 1:21 PM IST
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President Nominates Ram Shakal, Raghunath Mohapatra, Sonal Mansingh, Rakesh Sinha to Rajya Sabha
(From left) RSS ideologue and author Rakesh Sinha, classical dancer Sonal Mansingh, former MP and Dalit farmer leader Ram Shakal, and stone artist Raghunath Mohapatra.
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New Delhi: Former MP and Dalit farmer leader Ram Shakal, RSS ideologue and author Rakesh Sinha, classical dancer Sonal Mansingh and stone artist Raghunath Mohapatra were nominated by President Ram Nath Kovind to the Rajya Sabha.

The nominations were made by the President on the advice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said.

The quartet would replace cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, yesteryear actress Rekha, industrialist Anu Agha and lawyer K Parasaran, whose terms ended earlier this year.

"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. A farmer leader, he is widely respected for championing the cause of farmers, labourers and migrants," the PMO said.

He has also been a three-time member of the Lok Sabha, representing the Robertsganj constituency of Uttar Pradesh.

RSS ideologue Sinha is the founder and honorary director of the Delhi-based think-tank India Policy Foundation. A professor at the Motilal Nehu College of the Delhi University, he is also a member of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR).

Mohapatra is an internationally renowned authority on stone carving. He has contributed to the preservation of traditional sculpture and ancient monuments and has worked on the beautification of the Sri Jagannath Temple, Puri. His famous works include a 6-feet-high statue of the Sun God carved in grey sandstone in the Central Hall of Parliament and the Wooden Buddha in Paris.

Mansingh is among India's foremost exponents of Indian classical dance. She has been performing Bharatnatyam and Odissi for over six decades. She is also a well-known choreographer, teacher, orator and social activist. Mansingh founded the Centre for Indian Classical Dances in Delhi in 1977.

Article 80(1)(a)of the Constitution provides that the president can nominate to the Rajya Sabha 12 persons having special knowledge, or practical experience in respect of literature, science, art and social service.
| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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