Legendary athlete PT Usha and music maestro Ilaiyaraaja were among the four distinguished personalties who were nominated to the Rajya Sabha on July 6. Philanthropist and administrator of the Dharmasthala temple Veerendra Heggade and noted screenwriter V Vijayendra Prasad were also nominated to the Upper House of Parliament by the Narendra Modi government.
“The remarkable PT Usha Ji is an inspiration for every Indian. Her accomplishments in sports are widely known but equally commendable is her work to mentor budding athletes over the last several years. Congratulations to her on being nominated to the Rajya Sabha,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on Twitter. He also shared pictures of himself with PT Usha and Ilaiyaraaja and wrote congratulatory messages for them in separate tweets.
“The creative genius of @ilaiyaraaja Ji has enthralled people across generations. His works beautifully reflect many emotions. What is equally inspiring is his life journey- he rose from a humble background and achieved so much. Glad that he has been nominated to the Rajya Sabha,” PM Modi added.
The Rajya Sabha had vacancies in the nominated category.
A circular issued by the Centre read: “Rajya Sabha nominations show yet another instance of Modi Government recognising outstanding Indians who have made a mark in diverse fields. The four nominated members have had illustrious careers in their respective fields and received national and global recognition for their contributions. They also represent various South Indian states and expand the region’s representation in the Rajya Sabha.”
It added: “The Modi government has consistently ensured adequate representation for various under-represented groups. The four nominated members include a woman, a Dalit, and a member of a religious minority (Jain community). These four nominees have given back to society at every possible instance- if one of them has groomed athletes, the other has mentored creative geniuses and another of them has nurtured cinematic talent and one of them has done community service.”
The list includes two Padma Vibhushan recipients and a Padma Shri recipient.