Monday, March 23, 2009

IPL Shifting: BJP Cries 'National Shame!'

sudden decision to shift the lucrative T-20 cricket tournament overseas saw the BJP attack the UPA government holding it responsible for sending a "wrong signal abroad" while the Congress said the move was only guided by security issues and there was no politics.The BJP asked whether the country is so unsecured that it cannot hold a cricket tournament and whether it was becoming unprotected like Pakistan.Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi too waded into the IPL row saying it was a "national shame" that the second edition of the Indian Premier League(IPL) had to be pushed out of the country.Modi offered to hold all IPL matches in his state and provide tight security cover. "It is a shame that a powerful nation like India can't secure the IPL," the BJP stalwart said challenging the UPA government on the security issue.Holding the Congress-led UPA government responsible for the BCCI's decision, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said the Centre's "non-cooperation" will send wrong signals to international community before the 2010 Commonwealth Games."Has India become so unsecured that a domestic tournament has to go abroad? The whole country is disturbed with the non-cooperation by the government, which will send wrong signals about India's security condition," Jaitley said."We used to hear about security threats to sporting events in Pakistan, but now this is happening in India. This will surely give wrong signals," he emphasised.Congress leader Veerappa Moily said there was absolutely no politics behind the decision after state governments of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan told the organisers that it would be difficult to provide security due to the General elections. "It is a question of security arrangements which have to be made by each of the state governments," Moily said."State to state, the governments may have their own perception. It has nothing to do with any political party," Moily said.Samajwadi Party General Secretary Amar Singh lamented that the event is to be held on foreign soil."It is unfortunate that IPL has been shifted out of India. It could have been held in the country," he said.Jaitley wanted the government to reconsider its stand on providing security because it will have wrong implications for not only cricket or other sports, but the national security in general.Congress leader Jayanti Natrajan said the BJP was trying to politicise the issue and it was not right on Modi or Jaitley to equate the holding of the IPL with national prestige or hobour.Taking a stand different from the senior partner Congress, NCP leader and Maharashtra Home Minister Jayant Patil said security should not have be an issue and that "we can show the world that Mumbai is still secure."Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said the security of the state is "more important" and "we are not taking any chances.""Since the dates of the elections are clashing with IPL dates that was the reason and the security aspect of the community at large is at stake," he said.BJP national spokesman Ravishankar Prasad said in Mumbai, "The decision shows India in poor light that it cannot manage a popular sports event due to elections. So what if elections are being held, don't other important events happen in an election time. This is a stain on the face of the people of this country and will send a wrong message in the world."Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot alleged IPL chief Lalit Modi was trying to play politics through IPL."All the representatives of IPL are creating unnecessary hype. It is a democracy. Everyone gets to have their say. The country is going for polls. Isn't that important," Gehlot said, adding the tournament could have been held after the polls."Their accusations(of Union government's non-cooperation) are baseless," he said.Modi was perceived to be closed to BJP leader and Gehlot's predecessor Vijayaraje Scindia.
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