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HindustanTimes Fri,24 Oct 2014

Row over Sania Mirza as Telangana brand ambassador: the real reasons

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Hyderabad, July 24, 2014
First Published: 12:08 IST(24/7/2014) | Last Updated: 12:19 IST(24/7/2014)

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader K Laxman's objection to tennis player Sania Mirza being named the brand ambassador of Telangana is not entirely because of her connection with Pakistan.

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Laxman on Wednesday called Sania the "daughter-in-law" of Pakistan and questioned the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government's decision to appoint her as the brand ambassador of the newly carved-out state.

A section is opposed to a person not even remotely associated with the Telangana movement being given the role.

Laxman, who is leader of the BJP in Telangana legislative assembly, had said the 27-year-old tennis player never participated in the agitation for a separate state of Telangana.

But the main reason of disapproval is the Telangana CM K Chandrasekhara Rao's another decision denying scholarships to poor children who were born and brought up in Hyderabad but belong to Seemandhra.

The question that is being raised is if students belonging to Seemandhra are being branded as outsiders and denied scholarships then why a person born in Mumbai and connected with Pakistan was chosen to be the the brand ambassador of the state.

Laxman had raised Sania's "non-local" status as well as her marriage to Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik.

Sania was born in Maharashtra and later settled in Hyderabad.

It is well known that Chandrasekhara Rao loathes Seemandhra and its leaders like Chandrababu Naidu, his Andhra Pradesh counterpart.

The Telangana BJP has also termed the chief minister's proposal of providing 12% reservations for Muslims as unconstitutional.


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