New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Subramanian Swamy and Navjot Singh Sidhu as well as Narendra Jadhav, member of the erstwhile National Advisory Council (NAC) headed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, were on Friday nominated by the Union government to Rajya Sabha (RS).
Malayalam actor Suresh Gopi, journalist Swapan Dasgupta and boxer Mary Kom were also nominated to the upper house of Parliament.
President Pranab Mukherjee nominated the six people from different fields to the RS following a recommendation of the Narendra Modi-led government, a home ministry spokesperson said.
He said a formal notification regarding their nomination to the upper house would be issued shortly.
The president recommends the names of the nominated members drawn from fields such as literature, science, sports, art and social service—on the advice of the government.
Swamy, a Harvard-educated economist, was a former Union minister for commerce and law. He was also a former member of the Planning Commission. Swamy, 66, was one of the petitioners in the 2G spectrum scam. He joined BJP a few years ago.
Sidhu, cricketer-turned three-time Lok Sabha member of BJP from Amritsar, was given a Rajya Sabha seat apparently to stop him from joining the Aam Aadmi Party, which was reportedly planning to project him as the chief ministerial candidate in the Punjab assembly polls in 2017.
The 52-year-old former cricketer had made way for finance minister Arun Jaitley to contest from Amritsar in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. However, Jaitley lost the election.
Jadhav, 62, an economist, was a member of the Sonia Gandhi-led NAC during the United Progressive Alliance’s tenure from 2010 to 2014.
Besides the NAC membership, Jadhav has had held several positions. He was a member of the Planning Commission from 2009 to 2014 and vice-chancellor of the University of Pune. He is credited with writing and editing more than 30 books.
Swapan Dasgupta is a senior journalist and has held different editorial posts at The Statesman, The Times of India and India Today. Dasgupta, 60, was awarded the Padma Bhushan last year.
Malayalam actor Suresh Gopi is known as an “action hero" in Malayalam cinema and has mostly played roles as honest and committed police officers in several movies.
Mary Kom, 33, who hails from Manipur, is a five-time world boxing champion and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships.