Bhubaneswar: Eminent stone sculptor and Padma Vibhushan awardee Raghunath Mohapatra was nominated to Rajya Sabha today.
President Ramnath Kovind nominated Mohapatra along with three others- farmer leader Ram Shakal, author and columnist Rakesh Sinha and classical dancer Sonal Mansingh.
In exercise of the powers conferred by Article-80 of the Constitution of India and on the advice of the Prime Minister, the President of India nominated the four personalities to the Upper House, said a Press release issued by the President’s Secretariat.
The nominees will replace former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, actor Rekha, businesswoman Anu Agha and former Attorney General of India K Parasaran.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik congratulated Raghunath mohapatra and Sonal Mansingh and also expressed his deep gratitude to the president for nominating the two distinguished personalities, who have immense contribution to the promotion of Odisha art and culture.
Earlier in February 2014, Mohapatra had contested for Rajya Sabha polls with backing of ruling BJD. However, he lost to Congress candidate Ranjib Biswal.
Ram Shakal: He is an eminent people’s leader and public representative from Uttar Pradesh, who has devoted his life for the welfare and well-being of the Dalit community. A farmer leader, he is widely respected for championing the cause of farmers, labourers and migrants. He has also been a three-time Member of Parliament, representing Robertsganj constituency of Uttar Pradesh.
Rakesh Sinha: A respected and widely read author, Shri Rakesh Sinha is the Founder and Honorary Director of the Delhi-based think-tank “India Policy Foundation.” A Professor of Motilal Nehu College of Delhi University, he is also currently a member of the Indian Council of Social Science Research. He is a regular columnist in a range of newspapers.
Raghunath Mohapatra: He is an internationally renowned authority on stone carving. Practicing since 1959, he has trained over 2000 students. 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 6 feet high statue of the Sun God carved in grey sandstone, in the Central Hall of Parliament; and the Wooden Buddha, Buddha Temple, Paris.
Sonal Mansingh: She is among India’s foremost exponents of Indian Classical Dance. She has been performing Bharatnatyam and Odissi for over six decades. She is also a well-known choreographer, teacher, orator and social activist. She founded the Centre for Indian Classical Dances, in Delhi in 1977.