President nominates 4 to Rajya Sabha

President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday nominated four eminent people, including noted classical dancer Sonal Mansingh and sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra, to the Rajya Sabha.

The nominations which came four days ahead of the commencement of the monsoon session of Parliament also include three-time MP Ram Shakal and author Rakesh Sinha, an official release said.

Mansingh is among India’s foremost exponents of the Bharatnatyam and Odissi dance forms. She is also a well-known choreographer, teacher, orator and social activist.

Mohapatra is an internationally renowned authority on stone carving. 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 six feet high statue of the Sun God carved in grey sandstone in the Central Hall of Parliament; and the Wooden Buddha, Buddha Temple, Paris.

Shakal, a three-time MP and farmer leader from Uttar Pradesh, is widely respected for championing the cause of labourers, migrants and the Dalit community.

While Sinha is a widely read author and the Founder and Director of the Delhi-based think-tank India Policy Foundation. He is also currently a member of the Indian Council of Social Science Research.

The opposition is expected to press for early elections to the post of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman during the monsoon session as the post fell vacant after retirement of P.J. Kurien on July 1.