Sachin Tendulkar Was To Speak In Parliament But 'Match Was Called Off'

Sachin Tendulkar stood for almost 10 minutes at the Parliament Winter Session in the Rajya Sabha.

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Sachin Tendulkar Was To Speak In Parliament But 'Match Was Called Off'

Parliament Winter Session: Sachin Tendulkar was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in April 2012.

New Delhi:  Sachin Tendulkar's first speech in parliament in three years remained unheard today as the Rajya Sabha was disrupted by loud opposition protests and slogan shouting over recent comments made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi against his predecessor Manmohan Singh of the Congress.

Dressed in a kurta and gray jacket for the occasion, the cricket legend stood for almost 10 minutes as slogans of "BJP sharam karo (shame on BJP)" and "Pradhan Mantri sadan mein aao (PM come to the house)" went on despite chairman Venkaiah Naidu repeatedly asking members of the opposition Congress to pipe down.

"Sachin Tendulkar is speaking...It is an important issue, an issue of sports, raised by an honourable member who was awarded the Bharat Ratna, have respect for the institution also," the Vice President, ordering the protesting lawmakers to sit down.

"The entire country is watching what you are doing. I am leaving it to your better sense...you don't want to respect a person who is a legend in cricket in India...this is not right," Mr Naidu pressed.

Sachin, 44, had moved the house for a Short Discussion motion on the "Right to Play and the future of sports in India". He was believed to be keen on highlighting the importance of the Central Health Guarantee Scheme or CGHS for international medal winners and including sports in the school syllabus.

But the soft-spoken Master Blaster could not get a word in as politicians raised a din, forcing the chairman to adjourn the house. "We are discussing sports and you don't have the sporting spirit," said Mr Naidu, ordering that the telecast of the session be cut off.

Sachin was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in April 2012. His record as a parliamentarian has been patchy and he has mainly been talked about because of his poor attendance. This was his first statement in parliament.

The disruption during Sachin's turn was criticized by his colleagues in the Rajya Sabha; some used humour, others were furious.

Comments
"Was padded up to bat at No. 5 in Rajya Sabha and speak on #sport after @sachin_rt was to open the innings.But match called off.Bad weather," joked Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien on twitter.

Actor-politician Jaya Bachchan said: "He has earned name for India at the world stage, it is a matter of shame that he was not allowed to speak even when everyone knew it was on today's agenda."

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