Odissi exponent Sonal Mansingh, sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra nominated to RS

Bhubaneswar: The President of India on Saturday nominated four persons to Rajya Sabha including Odissi exponent Sonal Mansingh and sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra.

Sonal Mansingh is among India’s foremost exponents of Indian Classical Dance. She has been performing Odissi and also Bharatnatyam for over six decades.

She was earlier awarded Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Odissi dance.

Raghunath Mohapatra is famous for his contribution towards preservation of traditional sculpture and ancient monuments. He has also worked on the beautification of the Sri Jagannath Temple, Puri.

He was earlier awarded Padma Shri in 1975 and Padma Bhushan & Padma Vibhushan in 2001 and 2013, respectively.

Speaking on his nomination to the upper house of the parliament, sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra gave all credit to Lord Jagannath and said he met PM to seek help for construction of a new Konark temple & the work for the temple will begin today.

After being nominated to Rajya Sabha, Odissi exponent Sonal Mansingh says “I got the good news on Rath Yatra due to the blessings of Lord Jagannath; I will take Odisha’s art & culture forward; if #Odisha government wants, I will work for Odissi”

Odisha Chief Minister congratulated Sonal and Raghunath through a tweet.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also congratulated the duo said, “There could not have been better news for the people of Odisha on the auspicious occasion of #RathaJatra. Famous sclupter and pride of Odisha Sh. Raghunath Mohapatra and world famous Odishi dancer Smt @sonal_mansingh ji are nominated to the Rajya Sabha.

President Ram Nath Kovind also nominated farmer leader Ram Shakal (Uttar Pradesh) and author & columnist Rakesh Sinha (Delhi) to the Upper House.

Similarly, taking to twitter, former MP Baijayant Panda said “Among Prez’s Rajya Sabha nominations, I’m delighted to see 2 cultural icons of Odisha, @sonal_mansingh, Raghunath Mohapatra.”

“Both highly deserving, one was on brink of RS membership a cpl of yrs ago b4 state politics intervened. Thank you @narendramodi ji” Panda tweeted.


OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik also congratulated the new nominees to the upper house of the Parliament.

“Congratulations to Shri Raghunath Mohapatra on his nomination to Rajya Sabha. Glad to see the pride of Odisha being nominated to the Upper House; otherwise in recent past, BJD refused to acknowledge talented Odias,” Patnaik said in a twitter post.