New Delhi: Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar was sworn in as member of the Rajya Sabha on Monday while his wife Anjali accompanied him during the ceremony.

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The mega centurion made his debut in politics by becoming a member of the Upper House of the Parliament.

Sachin is first playing sportsman to become a member of the Parliament.

Talking to the media after the oath taking ceremony, Sachin made it clear that cricket will continue to remain his first priority and he also emphasized that it is because of cricket that he has been conferred the honour and would like to bring a change in the sporting fraternity in India.

He said, “Firstly, it’s a great honour for me, I believe the last 22 years of the international cricket has given me so many things. Whatever I am today is due to cricket only”.

"...I am here because of my cricketing career. I cannot take any focus away from my cricket. That is where it all started for me. I will focus on my cricket and as and when I stop playing cricket, I don't know, when I will start attending to other things”, he said.

"I don't want rumours to start that I have stopped playing cricket. I will let everyone know when I will stop playing cricket," he said when asked how he would assuage people who raise questions whether he would be able to do justice to the job in Parliament when he is still playing cricket.

Tendulkar, who was also given the honorary rank of group captain in the Indian Air Force in 2010, was nominated by the government for a seat in the Rajya Sabha on April 26 alongside actress Rekha and industrialist Anu Aga.

However, a petition was filed challenging his appointment to the Upper House in which the petitioner contended that the Article 80(3) of the constitution provides for nomination of eminent people from the field of literature, science, art and social services. He contended that there is no provision for the nomination of an individual to the Rajya Sabha from the sports category.

In March, Tendulkar, who contines to play Test and one day matches for his country, became the first cricketer to score 100 international centuries. Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi invited Tendulkar to her residence to congratulate him on the historic feat.   

Of the 250 members in the Rajya Sabha, 12 are nominated by the president for "special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as literature, science, art and social service."   

The soft-spoken cricketer has previously been considered for the Bharat Ratna, the nation's highest civilian honour.

Sachin’s nomination to the Rajya Sabha had invited vast criticism from various personalities and but was lauded by Lata Mangeshkar and many others.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla, Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office V Narayanawamy and a few other leaders were also present on the occasion.


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