The reactions 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.
Information and broadcasting minister Ambika Soni in New Delhi on Thursday hailed the nomination of Sachin Tendulkar for Rajya Sabha saying it was a "very good step".
She appreciated UPA's initiative in nominating Tendulkar as a member of RS saying, "Whenever Congress is in government, it has always nominated such personalities, which leads to an enviornment of energy and encouragement in the country."
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 BR, 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.
Majority of tweets on the social networking website, Twitter, trashed the player's nomination for the RS seat.
Hashtags like #UnfollowSachin, If Sachin and RS MP trended thoroughout the night criticising the idea of the nomination. However there were also those who welcomed Congress party's decision.
Here is what the twitterati said:
If Sachin It was BJP brought a Scientist in Politics, its now Congress brought a sports star in to this cesspit— KrishnaBaalu (@KrishnaBaaluu) April 27, 2012
#UnfollowSachin is trending worldwide now :-/ The ones who started this retarded hashtag, may you be born as Nirmal Baba's armpit hair.— Mohammad Omar (@omar1618) April 26, 2012
Dear #UnfollowSachin warriors, a little attention during Civics classes in Std 10 would have helped.— Dhananjay Mhatre (@Dhaanu) April 26, 2012
#UnfollowSachin still trending on twitter & I still believe 95% of them have nothing to do with hatred toward Sachin but towards CONgress— Nitish Kumar (@nkumar_) April 27, 2012
Y #unfollowsachin ? I thinks its great that he goes to d Rajya Sabha. Better than many many tht have gone before— Shekhar Kapur (@shekharkapur) April 26, 2012
Still fail to understand what the anger is about. Sachin Tendullar is less deserving that Dara Singh (the last nominated RS MP as sportsman)— pragmatic_desi (@pragmatic_d) April 26, 2012
Delighted to hear on the news that Sachin has been nominated to the Rajya Sabha. Befitting for an extraordinarily accomplished Indian.— Vijay Mallya(@TheVijayMallya) April 26, 2012
(With IANS inputs)