New Delhi, Mar 20: President Pratibha Patil on Friday, Mar 19 nominated five people to the Rajya Sabha for their expertise in specific fields of art, literature, science, and social services.
While lyricist Javed Akhtar, music exponent Ram Dayal Munda, economist and educationist Bhalchandra Mungekar and theatre personality B Jayashree are the popular artists and pioneers who have made to the list, it is the nomination of Former Union minister Mani Shankar Aiyar that has raised eyebrows.
The president has the power to nominate as many as twelve people to the Upper House for their expertise in various fields.
Even though there have been many instances in the past wherein active politicians have been nominated in this group, the move to bring in Aiyar has raised some questions.
The Congress member is an integral part of the High Command and there are reports of the speculations on Sonia Gandhi's hand behind his nomination.
The Constitution allows the nomination of a politician.
In the past, politicians like Bhupinder Singh Mann, Prakash Ambedkar and Ghulam Rasool Kar figured in the president's list.
During its tenure, BJP also nominated controversial criminal lawyer Ram Jethmalani and then Bollywood icon Hema Malini to the Upper house. Both of them were active party members.