Political parties today attacked Telangana BJP leader K Laxman who called sports icon Sania Mirza 'daughter-in-law' of Pakistan and said the tennis star is "our lady who belongs to Hyderabad".
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."
He said Mirza was chosen as brand ambassador of the new state as she is staying in Hyderabad and all the medals she is winning are dedicated to Hyderabad.
Laxman, the leader of BJP in the state assembly, had yesterday flayed the TRS government's decision to appoint Mirza as brand ambassador of Telangana, terming her as "daughter-in-law" of Pakistan and questioning her credentials for the honour.
When reporters sought his reaction on the issue, senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi said, "If such things somebody says it only reflects his culture."
Hitting out at the BJP legislator, SP leader Naresh Agarwal said, "Sania was born and brought up in India. Our coaches (of different sports teams) are also foreigners. In this case, will the BJP say that they should not be made coaches. Why doesn't the BJP oppose it then?"
Congress MP Saifuddin Soz also condemned the Laxman's remarks.
"(Jawaharlal) Nehru said India will always have danger from forces within India....(They are) the BJP, the Shiv Sena, the RSS. They are all sectarian and communal. Didn't you see what the 11 MPs did in the New Maharashtra Sadan?" he said.
K Kavitha, TRS MP and daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, said the decision was taken by the Telangana government and "I don't think it is wrong".
"She has never said that she has given up Indian citizenship. She plays for India and has been awarded by the Indian government on several occasions," Kavitha said.
NCP MP Majeed Memon said, "She is a valuable asset and always played for India. She is a world renowned player and her ranking has only increased. It doesn't matter if she marries a foreign citizen. She has been making India proud".