Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: BJP leaders backed tennis player Sania Mirza on Thursday regarding the controversy that erupted over a partyman calling her a daughter-in-law of Pakistan and saying that she was misfit to be the brand ambassador of the newly created state Telangana.
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that she was the proud daughter of India and had brought great glory to the country in the field of sports.
On the other hand BJP MP Kirti Azad while calling Sania the `pride of india` advised her not to get perturbed by shameless, irresponsible statements.
The leaders posted the following on the micro-blogging site Twitter -
Sania Mirza is proud daughter of India and has brought great glory to India in the field of sports. @MirzaSania
— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) July 24, 2014
'@MirzaSania don't get perturbed by such shameless, irresponsible statements, you are pride of India, keep concentrating on your game
— Kirti Azad (@KirtiAzadMP) July 24, 2014
Another BJP leaders and Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said - "This is not BJP`s position."
"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. She is brand ambassador of India," he told reporters, PTI reported.
A Telangana BJP leader stoked a controversy over Mirza being made the new state`s brand ambassador, calling her Pakistan`s `daughter-in-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, PTI reported.
He also dubbed her as `daughter-in-law` of Pakistan, as she is married to Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik.
Sania, on her part, slammed attempts to tag her as an outsider and said her family had its roots in Hyderabad.
"My family belongs to Hyderabad for more than a century and I strongly condemn any attempts by any person, whosoever, to brand me an outsider," she said in a statement.
"It hurts me that so much precious time of prominent politicians and the media is being wasted on a petty issue of my being appointed the Brand Ambassador of my State of Telangana," Sania said.
"I am married to Mr Shoaib Malik, who is from Pakistan. I am an Indian, who will remain an Indian until the end of my life," she said.
With PTI inputs