IPL faces backlash from Right wing group for China sponsor
RSS affiliate Swadeshi Jagaran Manch on Monday accused the organisers of the Indian Premier League of showing “utter disrespect to the soldiers” by continuing with a Chinese company as a sponsor and threatened a boycott call against this year’s edition.
Chinese mobile company Vivo has a five-year, Rs 2,199-crore deal as title sponsor for the IPL from 2018 to 2022. The IPL governing council — made up of top BCCI officials — has decided to retain all the sponsors. Union home minister Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah is a council member.
“IPL governing council has shown its utter disrespect to the soldiers martyred by most heinous act of Chinese,” Manch national co-convener Ashwani Mahajan said in a statement.
He added that the IPL’s decision was surprising at a time when the Centre was “making all efforts to keep Chinese out of our markets”.
The government had banned 59 Chinese apps and taken steps to curb Chinese investment after 20 Indian soldiers were killed by Chinese troops on June 15.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah mocked the IPL decision in a tweet, recalling words that a TV anchor had used to celebrate the ban on Chinese apps: “The sheer suddenness of the move, the unexpected nature of the move, the unpredictability of the move. They don’t know what hit them. Now the Chinese will know.......... what we always suspected, that we really can’t manage without their sponsorship & advertising.” Omar also said: “Chinese cellphone makers will continue as title sponsors of the IPL while people are told to boycott Chinese products….”
Mahajan tweeted: “IPL is a business and those running this biz are insensitive towards the nation and its security concerns.”
The Manch is the economic wing of the RSS, the BJP’s ideological parent.