New Delhi, June 3 : Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy, journalist Swapan Dasgupta and five-time world amateur boxing champion M.C. Mary Kom are among the nine nominated members of the Rajya Sabha whose assets and liabilities” details are not available with the House.
Others are Roopa Ganguly, Sonal Mansingh, Raghunath Mohapatra, Ram Shakal, Rakesh Sinha and Malayalam actor Suresh Gopi.
It was revealed in a reply by the Ethics Committee of the Rajya Sabha to a Right to Information (RTI) plea filed by one Saket Gokhale.
In the reply on May 25, the RTI cell of the Upper House said since all the members mentioned by the applicant were nominated by the President of India, the information sought by the applicant was not available.
“Under Rule 3 of the Members of Rajya Sabha (Declaration of Assets and Liabilities) Rules, 2004, only elected members of the council are liable to furnish the declaration of their assets and liabilities, and assets of their spouse and dependent children,” it said.
Dasgupta, 65, is a well-known journalist and was conferred with Padma award in 2015. Gopi is a popular action hero, and actress Ganguly is best known for her rendition of Draupadi in B.R. Chopra”s television series Mahabharat.
Mansingh is an eminent Bharatanatyam and Odissi classical dancer, and Mohapatra an architect and sculptor from Odisha. Sinha is an author and an associate professor at the University of Delhi, and Shakal a senior politician.
President Pranab Mukherjee on the recommendation of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government nominated them to the Rajya Sabha.
While nomination of 37-year-old Kom was aimed to burnish the government”s image of inclusive nationalism and its ambitions to make political inroads in Manipur, others have been supporters or members of the BJP.
The NDA is not only in minority in the Rajya Sabha, but often struggles to find good speakers to field on crucial debates against a constellation of articulate and experienced members in the opposition.
Although nominated, Swamy and Dasgupta gave the government two effective speakers in the Upper House.
Swamy, 81, was a Jan Sangh member of the Rajya Sabha in 1974-76. His six-year term was cut short as he was disqualified from the House during the Emergency. His second term in the Rajya Sabha was from 1988 to 1994. He has also thrice been member of the Lok Sabha. He was elected twice from Mumbai — in 1977 and 1980 — and once from Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Swamy was a cabinet minister in the Chandra Shekhar government.
Swamy was one of the petitioners in the 2G case. He was once a close adviser of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, but has been a trenchant critique of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi over the past decade and a half. He joined the BJP in 2013.