BJP leader Subramanian Swamy and former party MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, Malayalam actor Suresh Gopi, journalist Swapan Dasgupta and boxer Mary Kom were on Friday nominated by the Modi government to Rajya Sabha. Among the six nominated was economist Narendra Jadhav, who has formerly been a member of National Advisory Council (NAC) headed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi during the Congress-led UPA government.
President Pranab Mukherjee nominated the six personalities from different fields to the Upper House following a recommendation of the Narendra Modi government, a Home Ministry spokesperson told the press.
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. The 66-year-old, who joined BJP a few years ago, was one of the petitioners in the 2G spectrum scam.
Subramanian Swamy is currently pursuing the National Herald case against Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and other party leaders.
Sidhu, cricketer-turned politician, has been a three-time Lok Sabha MP of BJP from Amritsar. The 52-year-old former cricketer had made way for Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to contest from Amritsar in 2014 Lok Sabha polls. However, Jaitley had lost the election to Congress heavyweight Capt Amrinder Singh.
62-year-old Jadhav, an economist, was a member of Sonia Gandhi-led NAC during the UPA tenure from 2010 to 2014. Besides NAC membership, Jadhav has held several other positions. He was a member of Planning Commission from 2009 to 2014 and Vice Chancellor of the University of Pune.
He is a prolific writer in three languages – Marathi, English and Hindi – and 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 besides others. 60-year-old Dasgupta, a known BJP sympathiser, was awarded with Padma Bhushan last year.
Malayalam actor Suresh Gopi has been a known supporter of the BJP in the last few years. He is known as an ‘action hero’ in Malayalam cinema and has mostly played roles as honest and committed police officers in several movies.
33-year-old Mary Kom, who hails from Manipur, is a five-time world amateur boxing champion and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships. Ms Kom was picked to ensure representation from Northeastern states.