Bharatiya Janata Party leaders Subramanian Swamy and Navjot Singh Sidhu as well as Narendra Jadhav, member of the past National Advisory Council (NAC) headed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, were on Friday nominated by the Union government to Rajya Sabha. Malayalam actor Suresh Gopi, journalist Swapan Dasgupta and boxer Mary Kom were also nominated to the upper house of Parliament. President Pranab Mukherjee gave his approval to the names recommended by the Narendra Modi government, nominated the six. The president recommends the names of the nominated members drawn from fields such as literature, science, sports, art and social service on the advice of the government.

Subramanian Swamy, a Harvard-educated economist, was a former Union minister for commerce and law. He was also a former member of the Planning Commission. Navjot Singh Sidhu, cricketer-turned three-time Lok Sabha member of BJP from Amritsar, was given a Rajya Sabha seat apparently to stop him from joining the Aam Aadmi Party. Swapan Dasgupta is a senior journalist and has held different editorial posts at The Statesman, The Times of India and India Today besides others. Malayalam actor Suresh Gopi has been a known supporter of of the BJP in the last few years.

Mary Kom, who hails from Manipur, is a five-time world boxing champion and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships. Narendra Jadhav is a noted economist who has been part of the erstwhile Planning Commission and the National Advisory Council. He has served Chief Economist at the RBI and as Advisor at the IMF.

A nominated member is allowed six months to decide whether to join a political party after having taken the seat.

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