President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday nominated former BJP lawmaker Ram Shakal, RSS ideologue Rakesh Sinha, classical dancer Sonal Mansingh and stone artist Raghunath Mohapatra to the Rajya Sabha.
The nominations were made on the advice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“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,” Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in Statement.
Shakal has also been a three-time member of the Lok Sabha, representing the Robertsganj constituency of Uttar Pradesh.
RSS ideologue Sinha is a professor at the Motilal Nehru College of the Delhi University and the founder and honorary director of the Delhi-based think-tank India Policy Foundation.
He is also a member of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) and appears in several TV debates to support the RSS and its ideology of Hindutva.
Another nominated member, Mansingh is among India’s top classical dancers and a well-known choreographer, teacher, orator and social activist.
Mansingh has been performing Bharatnatyam and Odissi for the last six decades. She also founded the Centre for Indian Classical Dances in Delhi in 1977.
The fourth nominee, Mohapatra, an internationally renowned stone artist has contributed to the preservation of traditional sculpture and ancient monuments and has worked on the beautification of the Sri Jagannath Temple, Puri.
Under the Constitution of India, the president can nominated 12 members to the Upper House on advice from the prime minister. There were already 8 nominated members in the Rajya Sabha and only four seats were vacant.
(With PTI inputs)