Indian parliament grants Tendulkar leave of absence

Indian parliament grants Tendulkar leave of absence
In this photograph taken on June 4, 2012, Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar smiles as he arrives at Parliament House in New Delhi. As a cricketer, he enjoyed the status of a god in India. But just months after hanging up his boots, Sachin Tendulkar has come in for rare criticism for failing to attend a single session of parliament this year.

`NEW DELHI - India's parliament on Monday granted cricketing great Sachin Tendulkar a leave of absence after he was criticised for failing to attend a single session this year.

The former batsman had asked to be given leave from the House, citing work and family pressures, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

Tendulkar, revered by Indians as a cricketing god, promised to be a vocal supporter of sport when he was sworn in as a member of the upper house of parliament in June 2012.

But parliamentary records show he has the worst attendance record of all members, with just three per cent attendance last year and zero this year.

His poor showing was criticised last week in the House and on Monday some lawmakers objected to his request for leave.

The leave covers only the current session of parliament, which started on July 7 and will end on Thursday.

"Members' views are unanimous that he has no respect for the House," said Naresh Agarwal, a Samajwadi Party MP.

Veteran Congress leader Satyavrat Chaturvedi said a "wrong precedent" was being set and that "no one should be allowed to remain absent like this".

"This is not acceptable," he said.

Tendulkar, 41, the highest run-scorer in both forms of the game, retired after playing in 200 Tests and scoring 15,921 runs.

He was offered one of the 12 seats in the upper house reserved for those who have distinguished themselves in various fields such as the arts, sciences or social services.

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