Don’t club cricket with diplomacy, says Sushma Swaraj


Chennai : Cricket should be treated as a game, and sports and diplomacy should not be mixed, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushma Swaraj said here Thursday.

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“The game should remain as a game. The dialogue and diplomacy should be kept separate,” Swaraj, who is also leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha, told reporters.

She was referring to the presence of the prime ministers of India and Pakistan at the World Cup semifinal match between the two countries in Mohali Wednesday.

Swaraj said clubbing the two would add pressure on the players and would hamper their performance on the field.

Giving a good conduct certificate to the Election Commission (EC), Swaraj said the poll panel was functioning impartially and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK president M. Karunanidhi’s criticism of the EC was just outburst of frustration.

According to her, Tamil Nadu was once the best administered state of the country, but the situation deteriorated during the last five years of the DMK rule.

Citing former union communications minister and DMK leader Andimuthu Raja, Swaraj said a charge sheet running into 80,000 pages will be filed in the Supreme Court by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the 2G spectrum allocation case.

She said the DMK was mistaken if it thought it could counter corruption charges by announcing poll freebies.

On the reported comment of her party colleague Arun Jaitley that the BJP uses Hidutva opportunistically, as revealed by WikiLeaks, Swaraj said that he would not have made such a statement.

According to her, the WikiLeaks cable was a wrong assessment by a US diplomat.

Swaraj, who is overseeing party affairs in Tamil Nadu, said the BJP would enter the state assembly with impressive numbers given the anti-incumbency wave against the DMK.

According to her, three factors weighed in favour of the BJP in the upcoming polls – anti-incumbency wave against the DMK, resentment of people against the Congress at the centre, and the positive attitude of the people towards her party.

Swaraj said the BJP has been raising issues like killing of fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy, price rise, corruption and rehabilitation of Tamils in Sri Lanka.