While the Indian cricket team is busy preparing for their ICC World Cup T20 semi-final against England Down Under, a war of words erupted between the BJP and Congress over the latter’s Bharat Jodo Yatra posters at the tournament.
While the Men In Blue are busy preparing for their ICC World Cup T20 semi-final against England Down Under, a war of words erupted between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress over the latter’s Bharat Jodo Yatra posters at the tournament.
Days after the posters of the Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra were shown during the India-Zimbabwe Group 2 tie at Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Overseas Friends of BJP have written to Cricket Australia over the incident.
Playing on the front foot, the Indian Overseas Congress criticised BJP saying that it is unfortunate that the message meant to support the Indian team is being opposed by the ruling party as they are against freedom.
“I am writing to you to register a formal complaint over prohibited political material being displayed at the MCG in the T20 World Cup India vs Zimbabwe match on November 6, 2022,” Jay Shah, President of Overseas Friends of BJP Australia, wrote in his complaint to Cricket Australia.
Citing the reference in Congress spokesperson Shama Mohammed’s tweet, Shah said that a gentleman is displaying a poster of former Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his political campaign, Bharat Jodo Yatra.
“This is a clear violation of MCG Conditions for Entry and Admission to Events – Condition 2.1 and also Cricket Australia Ticket and Entry Conditions Section 24a. Strong action against such violations is expected from the administration according to the rules,” Shah added.
— Jay Shah (@jayshahIN) November 7, 2022
Commenting on the poster row during the Indian Cricket Team World Cup match in Melbourne, Virendra Vashist, secretary of the Indian Overseas Congress, told The New Indian, “This is very unfortunate that the BJP feels that whether it is India or Australia, there should not be freedom of speech. They are against freedom.”
Hitting out at the Overseas Friend of BJP Australia, Vashist said, “Is supporting our cricket team a crime? The message on our poster was clear, and there was no political message as they were encouraging the team members. Political messaging is done by the BJP and not by the Congress.”
“The Indian Constitution gives everyone the right to freedom of speech. I don’t know why they are scared, and they always fear,” Vashist said.
When pressed further about the fact that the pictures of former Congress president Rahul Gandhi were also on the posters at the MCG Ground, the Indian Overseas Congress leader said, “The photograph of Rahul Gandhi was to encourage the Indian players to win. Was it meant for political purposes, or was it meant to ask for votes in any elections? There was a simple message: Go team India go. It was for team India to win on Australian ground.”
“Unfortunately, the BJP is not supporting people who are encouraging the Indian cricket team,” he added.
The posters of the Bharat Jodo Yatra were shown during the last match of the group stage of the T20 World Cup, which is being played in Australia. India defeated Zimbabwe by 71 runs and qualified for the semi-final as table toppers in Group 2. India will face England on Thursday in the second semi-final match.