BJP leader brands Sa­nia 'daugh­ter-in-law' of Pak

Te­lan­gana brand am­bas­sador con­tro­versy

The Political and Business Daily - - FRONT PAGE -

ATe­lan­gana BJP leader to­day stoked a con­tro­versy over Sa­nia Mirza be­ing made the new state's brand am­bas­sador, calling her Pak­istan's "daugh­terin- law", spark­ing out­rage and draw­ing a fierce re­sponse from the ten­nis ace who said she will re­main an In­dian un­til the "end of her life".

The com­ments by K Lax­man, who also branded the 27-year-old ten­nis star as a "non-lo­cal" while ques­tion­ing her ap­point­ment by the Te­lan­gana Govern­ment, were roundly con­demned by po­lit­i­cal par­ties who stressed that she is "our lady who be­longs to Hy­der­abad".

De­scrib­ing Sa­nia as the "daugh­ter of Hy­der­abad", Te­lan­gana Chief Min­is­ter K Chan­drasekhar Rao had on Tues­day ap­pointed her as the state's brand am­bas­sador and handed over a cheque of Rs one crore.

"Sa­nia was born in Ma­ha­rash­tra and set­tled in Hy­der­abad only later and, hence, is a non-lo­cal," Lax­man, leader of BJP in the Te­lan­gana Assem­bly, said in Hy­der­abad.

He also dubbed her as "daugh­terin-law" of Pak­istan, as she is mar­ried to Pak­istani crick­eter Shoaib Ma­lik.

Con­demn­ing Lax­man's re­mark, TRS leader in Lok Sabha Ji­ten­der Reddy said, "She is our lady. She be­longs to Hy­der­abad...(If) she has mar­ried a Pak­istani or an Amer­i­can...that doesn't (mat­ter)...We can't say that she has gone out of her place. She is def­i­nitely our Hy­der­abadi."

Congress leader Man­ish Te­wari re­gret­ted that a sportsper­son of in­ter­na­tional re­pute like Sa­nia is be­ing sub­jected to this "ig­nominy".

In an ap­par­ent dam­age con­trol, BJP quickly dis­tanced it­self from Lax­man's state­ment, say­ing it was not the party po­si­tion.

"This is not BJP's po­si­tion," se­nior BJP leader and Union Min­is­ter of State for In­for­ma­tion and Broad­cast­ing Prakash Javadekar said. "Sa­nia Mirza is a pride of In­dia. Sa­nia Mirza has an in­ter­na­tional stand­ing on her own... So, we have no ob­jec­tion. I am sure she is pride of In­dia”.

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