Busy with the India-Australia Test series, Sachin Tendulkar has skipped the proceedings of the first half of the budget session of the Rajya Sabha. He is a nominated member of the House.

On Friday, the House granted him leave from February 21, the day the budget session began, to March 7, after Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien sought members’ permission.

The third Test is expected to end on March 18, giving little scope for the Little Master to participate in the proceedings of the current session, which is scheduled to end on March 22.

Even as the Chair sought the approval of the House on Mr. Tendulkar’s letter, actor Rekha’s infrequent presence too was noted.

“Both of them hardly come. Why not permit them leave once for all,” proposed Samajwadi Party’s Naresh Agarwal to a crack of humour. The former External Affairs Minister, S.M. Krishna, too has sought leave till March 22.

Best parliamentarians

The House patted Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley and veteran Congress leader Karan Singh for being chosen as best parliamentarians for 2010 and 2011 respectively. “It is a matter of pride,” said Najma A. Heptulla of the Bharatiya Janata Party while raising a toast for the two leaders.

Sharad Yadav, Janata Dal (United) chief and member of the Lok Sabha, has been chosen for the award for 2012.