President nominates four members to Rajya Sabha

In exercise of the powers conferred by Article 80 of the Constitution of India, and on the advice of the Prime Minister, the President of India is pleased to make the following four nominations to the Rajya Sabha:

Shri Ram Shakal: He is an eminent people’s leader and a 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, laborers and migrants. He has also been a three-time Member of Parliament, representing Robertsganj constituency of Uttar Pradesh.

Shri Rakesh Sinha: A respected and widely read author, Shri Rakesh Sinha is the Founder and Honorary Director of the Delhi-based think-tank “India Policy Foundation.” A Professor of Motilal Nehru 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.

Shri 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.

Smt 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.

Powers and privileges:

Nominated members enjoy all powers, privileges, and immunities available to an elected member of Parliament.

They take part in the proceedings of the House as any other member.

They, however, are not entitled to vote in the election of the President of India.

But in the election of the Vice-President of India, they have a right to vote.

A nominated member is allowed six months, should he decide to join a political party after he has taken his seat in the House in terms of article 99 of the Constitution.

A nominated member has also been exempted from filing his assets and liabilities under Section 75A of the Representation of the Peoples Act, 1951 which requires the elected member to do so within 90 days of his making or subscribing oath/affirmation.

Under MPLADS, the Nominated Members of the Rajya Sabha may select any Districts from any State in the Country for implementation of their choice of work under the scheme

The rationale behind the principle of nomination:

By adopting the principle of nomination in Rajya Sabha, the Constitution has ensured that the nation must also receive services of the most distinguished persons of the country who have earned the distinction in their field of activity, many of whom may not like to face the rough and tumble of the election.

By nominating them to Rajya Sabha, the State not only recognizes their merit and confers honor on them, but also enables them to enrich the debates by their expertise and knowledge that they have in different areas.

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