Chavan Defends, Thackeray ‘Shuts up’ Sachin for Mumbai Remarks

Following criticism of cricketer Sachin Tendulkar by Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray for his “Mumbai for all” remarks, Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan has come in strong defence of the cricketers, saying that he had spoken from his heart and that his statement will unite the country.

Taking exception to Thackeray’s criticism of Tendulkar in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, Chavan said, “the master blaster has spoken from the bottom of his heart.”

“Sachin’s statement has been made in true sportsman spirit. Though, he is a Maharashtrian, he plays for the country. This (Tendulkar’s remark) will unite the entire country,” Chavan said.

“I fully agree with him (Sachin). People will not support Shiv Sena’s political game,” he said.

The chief minster appreciated the master blaster saying that the entire country was proud of his achievement of completing 20 years in international cricket.

“Sachin has done India proud,” he said.

“I do not attach any importance to what some people have said about Tendulkar,” the Chief Minister said without naming the Shiv Sena chief.

However, Sanjay Raut, Sena’s spokesman, said that his party chief had not criticized Tendulkar for his “Mumbai for all Indians” remarks.

“The remark made in today’s issue of Saamana is not criticism of Sachin. Balasaheb commented in his capacity as an elder… it was an elderly advice to Sachin,” Raut said.

It should be noted that the mouthpiece quoted the Shiv Sena chief as saying, “There was no need for you to take a cheeky single by making these remarks. By doing so, you have got a run-out from the ‘pitch’ of Marathi pschye.”

Thackeray also expressed displeasure that Sachin had “left the crease” and moved to the pitch of politics by making these remarks which had hurt the Marathi mind.

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