In exercise of the powers conferred by Article 80 of the Constitution, and on the advice of the Prime Minister, the President on Saturday made four nominations to the Rajya Sabha.

Nominee Sonal Mansingh is among the foremost exponents of classical dance in the country. She has been performing Odissi and Bharatanatyam 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.

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The second nominee Rakesh Sinha is an author affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Sinha is the founder and honorary director of the Delhi-based think-tank India Policy Foundation. A Professor of Motilal Nehru College of Delhi University, he is also currently a member of the Indian Council of Social Science Research.

Sinha is a regular columnist in a range of newspapers and an identifiable face of the Sangh on television.

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The President nominated Ram Shakal also. Shakal is an eminent people’s leader and public representative from Uttar Pradesh, who has devoted his life for the welfare and well-being of Dalits.

Shakal is widely known for championing the cause of farmers, labourers and migrants. He has also been a three-time Member of Parliament, representing the Robertsganj constituency of Uttar Pradesh.

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Finally, Raghunath Mohapatra, the fourth person to make it to the Upper House today, is an authority on stone carving of international repute. Practising since 1959, he has trained over 2,000 students. He has contributed to the preservation of traditional sculpture and ancient monuments and has worked on the beautification of the Jagannath Temple, Puri.

Mohapatra's 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.


Article 80(1)(a), read with Article 80(3), of the Constitution provides that the President can nominate to Rajya Sabha 12 persons having special knowledge, or practical experience in respect of literature, science, art and social service. There were, currently, eight nominated members in the Rajya Sabha and, hence, four vacancies.