Mumbai, April 26 (IANS) The reactions of Mumbaikars varied to batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar’s nomination to the Rajya Sabha, with some welcoming the move and others critical of his new role, which will deprive him from playing.
Social activist Anna Hazare, who is in Mumbai for a two-day trip for consultations on the Lokayukta bill, welcomed the move. However, he mentioned that he is more interested in a corruption-free nation more than anything else at this point.
“I surely am happy. Give him (Tendulkar) a Rajya Sabha seat or any other honour or a Bharat Ratna. But right now I am focussed on a corruption-free nation,” he said.
Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray also reserved his comments. “Whether or not the Congress gives Tendulkar a Rajya Sabha seat or not, it is between them. I do not want to say anything about this,” he said.
However, Congress MP from north Mumbai Sanjay Nirupam welcomed the move. “Sachin deserves every bit and more. He also deserves a Bharat Ratna. I whole heartedly welcome this decision,” he said.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Madhav Bhandari, however, said: “As a fan of Tendulkar, I will welcome this move, but as an observer of politics, it will be like keeping him away from his biggest passion – cricket. I also see this as a trick to keep Tendulkar from a Bharat Ratna.”
Commoners, on the other hand, were baffled even at the possibility of Tendulkar as a Rajya Sabha member.
“I am perplexed. Who recommended him? What were they thinking? And tell me what will he do on that position? Sachin is a good cricketer and let them stay in the field of cricket and achieve greater heights,” said Deep Vora, a software professional.
Agreed another Mumbaikar Raghavendra B.R., a musician. “Sachin is an achiever in his own right. But I don’t quite agree with him being nominated for Rajya Sabha, especially, with his busy schedule,” he said.
“Sachin never seemed to have any inclination towards politics or working of the parliament. I wonder if he has the time to get political, given that his passion for Cricket is so strong. However knowing the personality that he is, I am sure he could do a lot of good to cricketing in India,” said Ajinkya Raut, a dentist and a cricket fan.
Congress leaders said Tendulkar and his wife Anjali paid “a courtesy visit” to Gandhi at her 10 Janpath residence. They said Sonia Gandhi was keen to greet the cricketer on his feat of scoring 100 international centuries.
President Pratibha Patil later approved the nominations of Tendulkar, yesteryears Bollywood actress Rekha and businesswoman and social worker Anu Aga to the Rajya Sabha.