Sachin's statement will unite India: Chavan


Ashok Chavan

Taking exception to the article by Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray in his party mouthpiece 'Samana' criticising Tendulkar, the Chief Minister 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.

Chavan said the entire country was proud of Tendulkar's 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.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena spokesman Sanjay Raut today said that party Chief had not criticised Tendulkar for the latter's "Mumbai for all Indians" comment.

"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 told reporters here.

"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," the mouthpiece quoted the Shiv Sena chief as saying.

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.

"Though being from Maharashtra, he (Sachin) plays for the country -- that's important. We are first Indians and then anything else," Chief Minister Ashok Chavan told NDTV.

"I congratulate Sachin for this wonderful statement. This will unite the entire country and definitely send a good message across," he said.

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