National

Row over naming of Sania Mirza as Telangana brand ambassador

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on July 24, 2014 Published on July 24, 2014

Matchpoint Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao and Sania Mirza during the latter's appointment as brand ambassador (file photo).

Party goes into damage control mode

Fame and controversy are no strangers to Indian tennis player and brand endorsement star Sania Mirza.

Even as Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao named her the State’s first brand ambassador and handed over a cheque for ₹1 crore, State BJP floor leader K Laxman was quick to question the rationale. He pointed out that Sania was born in Maharashtra, not Telangana.

He also indirectly accused the State Government of appeasing the minorities with an eye on the upcoming elections to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation.

Laxman also raised issues pertaining to Sania ‘dishonouring’ the national flag, and being a daughter-in-law of Pakistan, having married Pakistani cricketer Shoab Malik.

Sania retorted, saying, “It hurt me that so much precious time of prominent politicians and the media is being wasted on a petty issue of me being appointed the brand ambassador of my State of Telangana.”

“I am an Indian who will remain an Indian until the end of my life,” she said.

PTI reports

The BJP was quick to distance itself from Laxman’s remark.

“This is not the BJP’s position,” 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.”

Senior party leader Murli Manohar Joshi told reporters: “If such things somebody says (Laxman’s remarks) it only reflects his culture.”

Published on July 24, 2014
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