Asserting that cricket should remain a sport and not construed as a medium for dialogue and diplomacy, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, on Thursday criticised the Centre on the issue and said that sports and diplomacy should not be clubbed.
The senior party leader also dismissed as “outburst of frustration” Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s charge that the Election Commission was biased in supporting the Opposition AIADMK.
“Sport should remain a sport. Let us not convert it into controversy. I don’t think so much hype is needed. This should be separated from dialogue and diplomacy,” Ms Swaraj said while commenting on the meeting between the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan on the sidelines of Wednesday’s World Cup semi-final in Mohali.
Speaking to reporters in Chennai, she said the government’s cricket diplomacy with Islamabad, especially in the presence of top leaders, would only mount immense pressure on players of both teams and that “they can’t play freely.”
Ms Swaraj, who released the party’s campaign CD, dismissed Mr Karunanidhi’s criticism that the Election Commission was biased in supporting Opposition AIADMK, as this was an “outburst of frustration.”
The EC was behaving in an impartial manner, she added.
The leader also denied party colleague Arun Jaitley’s alleged statement to a US diplomat that the party was using Hindutva nationalism opportunistically.
The BJP would enter the new Tamil Nadu Assembly with impressive numbers, she said.
“A strong anti-incumbency wave against the government, resentment and disappointment against the Centre, in which the DMK is a partner, and the positive feeling for the BJP would work in the party’s favour,” Ms Swaraj said. Asian Age