Telangana, AP try hard to appropriate Sindhu

Naidu offers land to coach Gopichand for academy

Telangana, AP try hard to appropriate Sindhu

 Even as pressure is mounting on the Telangana government to replace ace tennis player Sania Mirza with P V Sindhu as the state’s brand ambassador, the Olympic silver medallist inadvertently opened up a Pandora’s box on her nativity in Vijayawada on Tuesday.

A hot debate is going on about the nativity of Sindhu as both the sibling states—Andhra Pradesh and Telangana—are claiming her as their own.

Responding to the gala civic reception bestowed on her and coach Pullela Gopichand at the Indira Gandhi stadium, the shuttler recalled her childhood days when she used to play shuttle in Vijayawada whenever she visited her grandfather’s house. “Whenever I visited Vijayawada, particularly during holidays, I used to play shuttle, and used to watch Gopichand sir playing,” she said.

Adding to her recollection, Vijayawada MLA Bonda Uma elaborated on her nativity and noted that Sindhu used to practise shuttle at the Indoor stadium in Vijayawada and also at the local sports club. “Even though her father Venkata Ramana is from Eluru (West Godavari), her mother Vijaya is from my constituency, Vijayawada,” she said, settling the nativity issue of Sindhu once and for all.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu, who set aside protocol and received Sindhu at the gates of the stadium, has time and again mentioned that Sindhu belonged to Andhra Pradesh.

“It was I who allotted land for Gopichand’s academy in Gachibowli and was instrumental in bringing world-class sports infrastructure to Hyderabad,” Naidu said. He added that it was during his tenure as chief minister of combined AP that events such as World Chess, Afro-Asian and National Games were organised in Hyderabad.

However, the Telangana government has made its intentions clear about making Sindhu an icon of budding sports talent in the state. Moreover, Sindhu’s acceptance of Telangana tradition like Bonalu (worship of Goddess Shakti) and her father’s links with Adilabad district of the state has already made her a local girl here. “She was born and brought up here in Telangana which makes her a local girl. Since when did grandparents’ place become her native place?” a Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) functionary questioned.

With both the Telugu states offering Sindhu house sites and plum Group 1 level government jobs, it will be interesting to see where Sindhu will be settling down. The AP government for its part tried to woo Gopichand with 15 acres of land at the upcoming Sports city under Amaravati, to set up a badminton academy on a much larger scale. Chief Minister Naidu has also promised to bring Olympics to Amaravati. However, Gopichand is yet to respond to the offer.

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