Hyderabad: The BJP Wednesday criticised Telangana for appointing tennis star Sania Mirza its brand ambassador and giving her a grant, saying she is a non-local and "daughter-in-law" of Pakistan.
K. Laxman, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader in the Telangana assembly, alleged the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) did this to appease minorities in view of the coming elections to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation.
Pointing out the player was born in Maharashtra and then came to Hyderabad in 1986, Laxman wondered how the government could honour her when she chose to marry Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik in 2010.
He also wondered how the government can give her Rs.1 crore in grant while ignoring talented players of the state. He said Malavath Poorna, the 13-year-old Telangana girl who scaled Mount Everest May 25, 2014 was given only Rs.25 lakh.
"When the government has set a stringent condition that it will not reimburse the fee of those students whose parents became residents of Telangana after 1956, how can it appoint a non-local its brand ambassador," Laxman asked.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao Tuesday appointed Sania as Telangana's brand ambassador and handed over the grant. Describing her as daughter of Hyderabad, he said she has made the city and Telangana proud.
Laxman said Sania neither participated in the movement for separate Telangana state nor ever played "Bathukamma" (a folk song and dance performed by Telangana women).