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Business News/ Politics / From MJ Akbar to Rajeev Chandrasekhar: Here are 9 journalists nominated to Rajya Sabha
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From MJ Akbar to Rajeev Chandrasekhar: Here are 9 journalists nominated to Rajya Sabha

The unexpected nomination of journalist Sagarika Ghose by the Trinamool Congress for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls has sparked a renewed discussion on the intersection of journalism and politics.

In 2018, journalist Sevanti Ninan wrote that every time a media owner or journalist is nominated to the Rajya Sabha, 'it evokes a passing bout of hand-wringing over journalistic independence' (PM Modi twitter)Premium
In 2018, journalist Sevanti Ninan wrote that every time a media owner or journalist is nominated to the Rajya Sabha, 'it evokes a passing bout of hand-wringing over journalistic independence' (PM Modi twitter)

The unexpected nomination of journalist Sagarika Ghose by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls has sparked a renewed discussion on the intersection of journalism and politics. From MJ Akbar to Arun Shourie, several acclaimed journalists have been nominated to the Rajya Sabha. 

In 2018, journalist Sevanti Ninan wrote that every time a media owner or journalist is nominated to the Rajya Sabha, “it evokes a passing bout of hand-wringing over journalistic independence".

“But look closer," she wrote, “and you find that it is more a case of confirming an ideological or political affiliation that was already there, or of a professional journalist who for her/his own reasons is ready to move into politics for the solutions she/he thinks it offers."

Harivansh Naranjan Singh

In 2018, this first-time MP became the deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha. Although Harivansh Naranjan Singh from Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) had briefly worked as an adviser to former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar, he always preferred his profile as a journalist. 

Arun Shourie

The veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader had been the editor of The Indian Express and The Times of India. He was nominated as a Rajya Sabha MP by the BJP from Uttar Pradesh in 1998 and remained in the Upper House till 2010.

He was minister of communications and information technology in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. He also held the portfolio of minister of disinvestment.

Rajeev Shukla

The Congress leader had been a veteran Hindi journalist and a TV anchor. He worked for Jansatta, the Hindi daily of the Express group, and Ravivar magazine.

Shukla hosted a popular TV interview show Rubaru from mid 90s to early 2000s. Clips of his interview with Narendra Modi in 2001 went viral in 2016 when Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal filed a Right to Information query seeking information about the prime minister's educational qualification.

Shukla was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 2000 and joined the Congress later.

Chandan Mitra

Chandan Mitra started as an assistant editor of The Statesman in Kolkata. He later moved to the Times of India in Delhi and then The Sunday Observer, which he left as its editor. He then joined the Hindustan Times as executive editor.

He was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 2003 and got another term as a BJP MP from Madhya Pradesh in June 2010.

MJ Akbar

MJ Akbar is a veteran journalist who launched India’s first weekly political news magazine, Sunday, in 1976, and two daily newspapers, The Telegraph and The Asian Age in 1989 and 1994.

He has been the editorial director of India Today and The Sunday Guardian, a weekly newspaper that he founded. He has also been associated with the Deccan Chronicle.

In 2014 he joined the BJP as its spokesperson and was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Jharkhand in July 2015.

He was inducted into the Union Council of Ministers in July 2016.

Subhash Chandra

Zee Group founder Subhash Chandra joined the Rajya Sabha as a BJP nominee. Subhash Chandra was also accused of "entrenching his media house" with the governing BJP.

He was elected to the Upper House of Parliament from Haryana in the 2016 Rajya Sabha election as an independent candidate supported by legislators from the BJP.

On May 31, 2022, Subhash Chandra filed his nomination from Rajasthan for elections to the Rajya Sabha as an Independent candidate backed by the BJP, but he lost the election.

Shobana Bhartia

Shobana Bhartia is the chairperson and editorial director of HT Media. She was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 2006 by the Indian National Congress.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Rajeev Chandrasekhar is the founder of Asianet News Online Private Ltd, which holds news outlets like Asianet News, Suvarna News and Newsable. Chandrasekhar had also briefly invested in ARG Outlier Media, the holding company of Republic TV.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar has been a three-term member of the Rajya Sabha since 2006, nominated by the BJP. He currently serves as the minister of state for electronics and information technology in the Narendra Modi government.

Swapan Dasgupta

Swapan Dasgupta is a journalist who has held several editorial positions in publications such as the Indian Express, Times of India, Statesman and India Today. 

He was renominated to the House by former President Ram Nath Kovind, a month after he resigned from the Rajya Sabha and unsuccessfully contested the West Bengal assembly election on a BJP ticket.

Swapan Dasgupta was initially nominated to the Rajya Sabha in April 2016 and his original term was set to expire in 2022.

(Disclaimer: Shobana Bhartia is the chairperson and editorial director of the HT Media)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sayantani Biswas
Sayantani is an editor with Livemint. She covers stories of International and Indian politics, conflict
Catch all the Politics News and Updates on Live Mint. Check all the latest action on Budget 2024 here. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.
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Published: 13 Feb 2024, 06:15 AM IST
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