After attacking Union Minister of Food Processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal, the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) has now opposed Chinese smartphone maker Oppo’s sponsorship of the Indian cricket team. The Manch, which is an affiliate of the RSS and advocates an indigenous model of development, has sought time from Sports Minister Vijay Goel to seek government intervention in the matter.
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“China is a big challenge for us in terms of the trade imbalance, the loss of employment because of Chinese imports is a big problem. On the other hand it (China) is a threat to national security. In such a situation it is unfortunate that a Chinese brand has won the sponsorship deal of the Indian cricket team. We have sought time from the sports minister to seek government intervention in the matter,” SJM co-convenor Ashwani Mahajan told The Indian Express on Wednesday. On Wednesday, the SJM had urged PM Narendra Modi to sack Harsimrat for batting for FDI in food and non-food items under the multi-brand retail policy.
The sponsorship deal means that all Indian cricket teams of both men and women will henceforth wear the Oppo logo on their shirts and the Chinese company based in Guangdong would have the right to use the title “official sponsor of the Indian cricket team”.
Oppo won the sponsorship deal for the Indian cricket team with a bid of Rs 1,079 crore for five years, which is more than double the reserve price of Rs 538 crore set by BCCI. Interestingly, the only other bidder was also a Chinese smartphone maker — Vivo.
Following a call from RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, the SJM had recently started a signature campaign asking people to pledge not to use Chinese goods. “We have already collected 3 crore signatures. When this is the public sentiment against Chinese companies, how can one such company sponsor the cricket team and cash in on its popularity,” Mahajan added.
He conceded that BCCI was going through a transition phase after the sacking of board president Anurag Thakur by the Supreme Court, but added that there was nothing in the present circumstances that can warrant going ahead with the sponsorship deal with Oppo.