Mumbai, Nov 20: Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut on Monday alleged cricket great Kapil Dev was deliberately not invited for the World Cup cricket final match in Ahmedabad to ensure that he didn't hog the limelight at the game which was attended by some political leaders.
Speaking to reporters, Raut claimed the BJP had planned to encash the Indian cricket team's success to derive a political mileage but it failed to do so because India lost the game against Australia.
"Kapil Dev had captained the cricket team that won the maiden World Cup for India. He instilled confidence in us that we could win big tournaments. If Dev had been invited, he might have eclipsed the presence of some other political leaders at the Narendra Modi Stadium," Raut said responding to a query.
In the past, final matches of significant tournaments used to be held in Delhi or Mumbai, which has a legacy of cricket players, said Raut.
"However, the lobby of one state that has infiltrated the world of cricket first changed the stadium's name from Sardar Vallabhbai Patel to Narendra Modi Stadium. The BJP also planned to reap the benefits if the Indian cricket team had won the final match.
"An attempt was made to portray the match between the Indian and Australian cricket teams as the one between BJP versus the Australian team. Now you lost in (your) game," the Rajya Sabha member said.
Dev had told ABP News that he was invited for the final match in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
"They didn't call me so I did not go. As simple as that. I wanted the whole '83 team to be there with me but I guess due to the fact that it's such a big event and people are so busy handling responsibilities, sometimes they forget," he said.
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New Delhi, Dec 11: India has described as "fake" and "completely fabricated" a media report claiming that a "secret memo" was issued by New Delhi in April to take "concrete" measures against certain Sikh separatists, including Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Sunday that the report is part of a "sustained disinformation campaign" against India and the outlet that published it is known for propagating "fake narratives" peddled by Pakistani intelligence.
The report was published by online American media outlet "The Intercept".
"We strongly assert that such reports are fake and completely fabricated. There is no such memo," Bagchi said.
"This is part of a sustained disinformation campaign against India. The outlet in question is known for propagating fake narratives peddled by Pakistani intelligence. The posts of the authors confirm this linkage," he added.
"Those who amplify such fake news do so only at the cost of their own credibility," Bagchi said, responding to media queries on the report.
In September, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau levelled the allegation of "potential" involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistani extremist Nijjar on Canadian soil on June 18.
India strongly dismissed the charges, terming them "absurd".
"The Intercept", in its report, claimed that the Indian government issued instructions on a "crackdown scheme" against certain Sikh entities in western countries.
It further claimed that the secret memorandum issued by the MEA in April lists several "Sikh dissidents under investigation by India's intelligence agencies, including the Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar".