President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday nominated four persons, including classical dancer Sonal Mansingh and RSS ideologue Rakesh Sinha, to Rajya Sabha. The names also include farmer leader and former MP Ram Shakal, and sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra.
In exercise of the powers conferred by Article 80 of the Constitution of India, and on the advice of the Prime Minister, President Kovind made the four nominations to the Rajya Sabha.
Here is all you need to know:
1. Ram Shakal: Ram Shakal is a public leader from Uttar Pradesh, who is known to have worked for the welfare and well-being of the Dalit community. A farmer leader, he is also known for championing the cause of farmers, labourers and migrants. He has also been a three-time Member of Parliament, representing Robertsganj constituency of Uttar Pradesh.
2. Rakesh Sinha: RSS ideologue, a widely read author, Rakesh Sinha is also the Founder and Honorary Director of the Delhi-based think-tank “India Policy Foundation.” A Professor of Motilal Nehu College of Delhi University, he is also currently a member of the Indian Council of Social Science Research. He is a regular columnist in a range of newspapers.
3. Raghunath Mohapatra: He is an internationally renowned authority on stone carving. Practicing since 1959, he has trained over 2000 students. 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, Buddha Temple, Paris.
4. Sonal Mansingh: She 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. She founded the Centre for Indian Classical Dances, in Delhi in 1977.