The Modi government has decided to send senior BJP leader Dr Subramanian Swamy, former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu, Olympian boxer Mary Kom, senior journalist Swapan Dasgupta, Dalit economist Dr Narendra Jadhav and Malayalam actor Suresh Gopi to the Rajya Sabha as the President’s nominee. Sources said a communication from the Rashtrapati Bhawan is expected anytime soon.
Currently, there are already five President’s nominees – industrialist Anu Agha, eminent lawyer K Parasaran, actor Rekha, Sachin Tendulkar and senior advocate KTS Tulsi – who were nominated by the previous UPA government. The 245-member house has 12 such members.
Entry of Dr Swamy into Rajya Sabha is being seen as a significant move. The BJP leader, who is close to the RSS and just got an official accommodation, has been fighting the Gandhis single-handedly. Sources said he may want a ministerial berth too, adding that his entry will likely be resisted by leaders like Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
However, insiders said, the PM has taken care of Jaitley’s interest by bringing in his close friend Swapan Dasgupta. At the same time, he has also inducted his bete noire Navjot Singh Sidhu. It remains to be seen how the new power equations work out.