Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar was the cynosure of all eyes in Rajya Sabha on Friday when he attended the House for the first time during the current Winter Session of Parliament.
Sachin Tendulkar surrounded by security personnel leaves after addressing the media at Parliament in New Delhi. AFP/Prakash Singh
Clad in a check-shirt and a black pullover, Tendulkar walked in from the chairman's chamber shortly before the House was called to order.
He was greeted by many members as he walked through the aisle to the exit only to make an entry again from the door nearest to his seat.
Soon after the House paid homage to the martyrs of the dastardly attack of Parliament House 12 years ago, chairman Hamid Ansari said it was a "matter of great pride that the government has decided to confer Bharat Ratna on Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, a nominated member of the House and an outstanding cricketer."
He extended congratulations to Tendulkar on his own behalf and on behalf of the House.
Members thumped desks to congratulate Tendulkar, who stood up to acknowledge their greetings with folded hands.
When the House was adjourned, members queued up to congratulate him with some seeking his autograph.
Tendulkar greeted each one of them with a smile and a warm handshake even as Mani Shankar Aiyar, another Nominated member, came up to his seat and was engaged in an animated conversation.
However, the exchange of greetings did not stop. Nominated member Anu Aga in between took his autograph. Not to be left behind, Aiyar too asked Tendulkar to scribble a message for him.
Tendulkar, who last came to Parliament in August during the Monsoon Session, stayed in the House for a brief while after the House was adjourned amid din over various issues.