Accusing the West Bengal Chief minister of playing vote-bank politics by assuring “foolproof security” to Pakistan cricket team, Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray said no match must be played till Pakistan stops sponsoring infiltration in India.
He praised Himachal Pradesh Chief minister Virbhadra Singh for showing “true patriotism” over his stand on the match and accused his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee of using the India-Pakistan WT20 match for votebank politics.
“Cricket and bombs can’t go hand in hand,” the Sena chief said adding, “The big question is – should we play with those who attack India. There should be sportsmanship. We are not against the spirit of the game. They will strike twice and we will strike twice.
“There will be kabaddi matches, cricket matches…It goes on. But, they (Pakistan) aid infiltration.”
Speaking at an event in Chandrapur district, around 800km from here, Uddhav said, “When the jawan (at the border) will look behind he will say ‘I have a bomb in my hand, but you (players) have been given a ball and you will be playing with Pakistan’. You either throw the ball or I will throw the bomb. How can both things be thrown at the same time? You can’t,” he said.
Uddhav said “bomb should be thrown (referring to Pakistan) to finish the matter and then cricket can continue” (with the neighbouring country).
“We don’t want life-taking games,” he said, a day after the Pakistani team arrived in Kolkata to take part in the World Twenty20 Championship.
“What Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister did was right. I congratulated him though he belongs to Congress. He showed what true patriotism is when he said he cannot provide security to Pakistani players,” he said.
However, Banerjee, whose state is going to polls next month, is playing vote-bank politics by assuring “foolproof security” to the Pakistan squad, he said.
The March 19 India-Pakistan World T20 group match was shifted by ICC from Dharamshala in Himachal to Kolkata due to security reasons.
Uddhav said when Singh refused to guarantee security to Pakistan in Dharamshala, he thought others will follow suit. “But, Mamata said yes (to host match). She called them to her State…Welcomed (Pakistan singer) Ghulam Ali, Pakistani players.
“Why? Because her state is going to polls? When you talk of votebank politics and indulge in Muslim appeasement for vote bank politics, it is called secularism. But if we appease Hindu votebank, you call it communalism?” he said.