Political parties join outcry against Denness

Published: Thursday, November 22, 2001, 2:38 [IST]
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New Delhi: Political parties on Wednesday lent their voice to the nationwide outcry and condemnation over the harsh punishment handed down to six members of the Indian cricket team for match offences in South Africa describing the action as "shocking" and which smacked of "racial discrimination".A suggestion was also made for considering the possibility of the Indian cricket team pulling out of their South African tour as a response to the controversial action of match referee Mike Denness against captain Saurav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and four others during the just concluded second Test. The third Test is due to start on Saturday. BJP spokesman V K Malhotra attacked the "strong action" against the cricketers and said it smacked of "racial discrimination". Congress spokesman Anand Sharma said the whole nation was one on the issue of condemning Denness' decision and asserted it would back any decision to call back the team. "The action is totally unfair, uncalled for and unacceptable and it has come as a shock," he added. Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee also supported any move to withdraw the team. "Either our prestige be maintained or the team should come back," she said. Sports Minister Uma Bharti said in Kanpur that she had sought a report from the Indian Board on the matter but declined to comment on the controversial action.

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