Sachin and Krishna 'leave' House in splits

New Delhi, March 15: If the whole of India is delighted that Sachin Tendulkar is still playing Tests, those grinning the widest are his team-mates.

Not the ten at Mohali but the 240-odd in New Delhi.

Rajya Sabha members today erupted in mirth when the cricketer's application for leave from the House ' to play against Australia ' came up along with one from former foreign minister S.M. Krishna.

Parliament rules stipulate that members' leave applications are read out during a session and the House decides whether to grant permission.

But when deputy chairman P.J. Kurien sought the Rajya Sabha's permission to grant leave to Sachin and Krishna, Samajwadi member Naresh Agarwal rose from his seat like a ball rearing unexpectedly from the good length spot.

What followed may be deemed the cricket equivalent of a "sledge" ' something bowlers have learnt to never direct at one of history's greatest batsmen.

"They hardly come to the House. Why not give both of them permanent leave?" Agarwal joked, and the entire House broke into guffaws.

Fans tempted to see even a good-natured dig at their cricket "God" as blasphemy may console themselves with the thought that members of Parliament enjoy a certain privilege with what they say in the House.

The "permanent leave" quip was possibly a reference to Clause 4 of Article 101 of the Constitution, which says that if a member is absent for 60 days without permission, his or her seat can be taken as vacant ' in other words, the member is disqualified from the House.

Permission, of course, was granted without fuss ---- unlike the current Australian team management, nobody in India wants to see their best players missing out on Tests for non-cricket reasons.

Sachin had sought leave from February 21 till March 7, which means he will soon be moving another application for further leave to play the ongoing third Test and the fourth.

Members can renew their permission for leave at regular intervals; there's no cap on how long a member can extend his or her leave.

The context to Agarwal's remark was that Sachin, nominated to the Rajya Sabha on April 27 last year, has rarely been present in the House.

Since taking his oath on June 4, when he told a reporter that "cricket comes first", Sachin has not had too much to say in the House during his infrequent visits.

Around October, he had written to then human resource development minister Kapil Sibal that he wanted to make a presentation on sports education in schools, but has not yet found time to do it.

Actress Rekha, nominated the same day as Sachin, rivals his attendance record. Krishna, who today sought leave from March 5 to March 22 for personal reasons, too has been absent frequently since losing his foreign ministry portfolio.

Imposition of "permanent leave" has so far happened only once in the history of the Rajya Sabha.

Independent member Brajinder Singh Hamdard's seat was declared vacant on December 21, 2000, because of unauthorised absence from the House for more than 60 days.

Hamdard, managing editor of a newspaper in Punjab, had been elected to the House on April 10, 1998, for a six-year term. The motion to declare his seat vacant was moved by Pramod Mahajan, then parliamentary affairs minister in the NDA government.

"Members are given adequate elbow room, and the period of 60 days is a long time. Only days when the House sits are counted while determining the 60-day period; days on which the House is adjourned without transacting any business are not taken into account," a senior official said.

"In 2012, the Rajya Sabha sat for only 74 days; so the 60-day clause provides a long rope."

Only once has the Rajya Sabha rejected a member's leave application.

In 1976, Subramanium Swamy had pleaded that he was on a "foreign tour" and would not be able to return in time for a particular session. He had sought leave from March 8 till April 3.

But for reasons that could not be ascertained, several members opposed Swamy's application. The then chairperson of the House, Vice-President B.D. Jatti, ruled that leave would not be granted.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Bowling worries for Super Kings

Bowling worries for Super Kings

After failing to defend a mammoth 205 against Kings XI Punjab, Chennai have a lot to think about. More »

Punjab pull off another big chase

Punjab pull off another big chase

GAME 7, SHARJAH—Maxwell, Miller, Pujara chase down Rajasthan's 192. More »

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

The class act from Saurashtra may have to rethink his approach to the mannerless format. More »

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

The BCCI is likely to convene a special general body meeting (SGM) in May to replace N Srinivasan on the board's disciplinary committee. More »

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Some members stressed on the need for proposing names with an "impeccable record and clean image". More »

Roach escapes injury after car crash

Roach escapes injury after car crash

The West Indies fast bowler lost control of his BMW sedan due to slippery road conditions in his native Barbados on Saturday. More »

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

The former CBI Director is one of the three candidates proposed by the BCCI to head the enquiry into the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal. More »

Repose faith in Indian coaches

Repose faith in Indian coaches

All of them cost plenty of dollars which I feel is unnecessary for a two- month tournament, says former cricketer Yajurvindra Singh. More »

Cook relieved after period in limbo

Cook relieved after period in limbo

The England captain is looking forward to a fresh start after a dispiriting Ashes defeat last year. More »

[INTERVIEW] Jayawardene and Sangakkara

[INTERVIEW] Jayawardene and Sangakkara

Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara go over their World T20 win, and feel grateful to have fans whose support remains unwavering in victory and de… More »

Need to improve fielding: Ashwin

Need to improve fielding: Ashwin

[T20 Newsline] Lacklustre Super Kings, fast-improving Sanju Samson and other news from IPL-7. More »

Aussie coach joins emerging Afghanistan

Aussie coach joins emerging Afghanistan

Peter Anderson has started work in Kabul as the fast-developing team prepare for their debut at next year's World Cup. More »

Chaos threatens to engulf SL again

Chaos threatens to engulf SL again

As Lanka's head coach decides to jump ship, euphoria over winning an ICC tournament has dissipated into fuistration. More »

Jayasuriya unhappy at Farbrace conduct

Jayasuriya unhappy at Farbrace conduct

Sri Lanka's chief selector is upset at news of head coach Paul Farbrace's possible move to England. More »

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

The Nawab of Najafgarh says a good run in IPL could help his chances of a comeback on India's tour to England in June. More »

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

Five things England must do to bounce back

Five things England must do to bounce back

England have appointed a new head coach in Peter Moores. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

‘Felt like helpless minority’

‘Felt like helpless minority’

Former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke says emotions got the better of Srinivasan and he tried to oversimplify things by calling Meiyappan an “enthusiast.” More »

Royal test for Kings

Royal test for Kings

Preview — Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

The world record that nearly wasn't

The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »