Sachin Tendulkar, who turned 39 yesterday, will now become a Parliamentarian with the government nominating him to the House of Elders, Rajya Sabha, along with actress of yesteryear Rekha and industrialist Anu Aga.
The nomination of the three eminent personalities was tonight approved by President Pratibha Patil under Article 80 of the Constitution that allows the President to nominate 12 members to the 250-member Upper House.
The names of Tendulkar, who has brought many a laurel to the country through his exploits in the game, Rekha, known for her brilliant and emotional portrayals in Hindi cinema in the 80s, and industrialist and social worker Aga were sent by the Prime Minister to the Home Ministry yesterday for approval by the President.
70-year-old Aga, former chairperson of Thermax Industries and a member of the Sonia Gandhi led National Advisory Council, is a social worker who had figured among the richest Indians in the list by Forbes.
Article 80 of the Constitution provides for nomination of persons having special knowledge or practical experience in matters such as literature, science, art and social service.
57-year-old Rekha was one of the top heroines of the 80s in Hindi films and and had won several national awards in her acting career.
Tendulkar's nomination to Rajya Sabha has come as a surprise against the backdrop of a long-standing demand for conferring of Bharat Ratna on him for his contribution to the game. He completed the historic achievement of scoring 100 international centuries in March this year.
Earlier in the day, Tendulkar, accompanied by his wife Anjali, met Congress President Sonia Gandhi at her residence.
Tendulkar would be the first active sportsman and a cricketer to be nominated to Rajya Sabha.
The House already has a member from the film world in Javed Akhtar.
Tendulkar is the first sports personality to be nominated to Rajya Sabha while there have been several film personalities who have been nominated in the past.
Film personalities who were nominated in the past include Hema Malini, Vyjayantimala, Nargis Dutt, Lata Mangeshkar and Sivaji Ganesan.
Under the anti-defection law, a nominated member has the option to give a declaration within six months if he wants to associate himself with a political party in the House.