Bhopal: Tennis star Sania Mirza did not show up as the chief guest at an annual sports award function organised by Madhya Pradesh government after her demand of a make up kit worth Rs. 75000 and a chartered plane was turned down.
According to an Indian Express report, the demands were reportedly made by Sania's personal assistant after the star accepted the invitation. The star or any of her aides are yet to react to the controversy.
The report also says that programme had to be rescheduled after the organisers dropped the idea of inviting her and settled for badminton coach Pullela Gopichand instead.
The daily also quoted MP Sports Minister Yashodhara Raje as saying that she respected the tennis player but found her demands unacceptable.
Sania have earlier courted controversy when she was photographed without the Indian flag at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. In response, Mirza reaffirmed her loyalty to the land of her birth – "To see the national flag go up while standing on the podium is the proudest moment in an athlete's life and I will want to experience that for myself in London.
Sania was became a victim of political battle after she was made brand ambassador for Telangana with BJP blaming that the state government is indulging in minority appeasement policy. She was presented with Rs. 1 crore on tow separate occasions by Telangana CM K.C.Rao.
Sania was in legal soup after she allegedly dishonoured the national flag during her visit to Australia while watching Hopman Cup matches. She became the subject of a court summons in Hyderabad after a private citizen made a complaint under the country's Prevention of Insult to the National Honour Act.
On 4 February 2008, Mirza said that she would stop appearing in tennis tournaments held in India, starting with the 2008 Bangalore Open the following month, citing the series of controversies and upon advice by her manager.⏒] But Mirza chose to participate at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi