Bhubaneswar: Noted sculptor from Odisha Raghunath Mohapatra has been nominated to Rajya Sabha.

Apart from Mohapatra, President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday nominated three others – farmer leader Ram Shakal, columnist Rakesh Sinha and classical dancer Sonal Mansingh – to the Upper House.

Mohapatra, an internationally acclaimed sculptor, has been practising stone carving since 1959. He has imparted training to more than 2,000 students and contributed to the preservation of ancient monuments and sculpture.

Similarly, Sonal Mansingh is a veteran exponent of Indian classical dance and choreographer. She has been performing Odissi and Bharatnatyam for more than six decades.

Besides, Rakesh Sinha is one of the prominent author and columnist. He is the founder and honorary director of Delhi-based India Policy Foundation and member of Indian Council of Social Science Research.

Ram Sakal, an eminent farmer leader and people’s representative from Uttar Pradesh, is known for his contribution towards uplifting the Dalit community. He has been a three-time Member of Parliament, representing Robertsgang constituency in Uttar Pradesh.

The nominees will replace former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, actor Rekha, former Attorney General of India K Parasaran and businesswoman Anu Agha.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik congratulated Mohapatra and Mansingh for being nominated to Rajya Sabha. The Chief Minister also expresses his deep gratitude to the President for nominating two distinguished personalities, who have made immense contribution in promotion of Odishan art and culture.

According to a press statement issued by the President’s Secretariat, 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 persons to the Upper House.

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