Video footage of BCCI secretary Jay Shah appearing to turn down an offer to wave the national flag after India beat Pakistan in a thrilling cricket match at the Asia Cup in Dubai on Sunday has sparked a controversy, with Opposition leaders taking a dig at him.
Several Congress leaders shared the video footage on social media and slammed Shah, who is Union Home Minister Amit Shah's son.
Tagging the footage of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary appearing to turn down an offer to wave the flag, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh tweeted in Hindi: "I have papa, keep the tricolour with you."
Congress leader Ajoy Kumar also tweeted the footage and wrote in Hindi: "Looks like the tricolour was of 'Khadi'... not of 'polyester'!"
Congress's Karnataka MLA Priyank Kharge asked why would Jay Shah refuse to wave the tricolour after India's victory against Pakistan. "Any Indian would have done so reflexively. Did he want the Bhagwa Dhwaja or BJP flag?" he asked.
The Congress has been strongly criticising an amendment of the flag code under which the national flag can now be made of polyester and with the help of machines.
‘Disrespectful to national flag’
Shiv Sena's Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said "staying neutral as ACC (Asian Cricket Council) president doesn't at any point mean being disrespectful to any nation's flag, especially your own...."
In another tweet, Ms. Chaturvedi said the tricolour in hand is a symbol of the resolve and loyalty to the nation and to "dismiss" it in this way is an "insult" to the country's 133 crore population.
Tagging the video, Trinamool Congress (TMC) general secretary Abhishek Banerjee tweeted: "The prodigal prince knows not of national pride. Jay Shah not wanting to hold the national flag is symptomatic of the larger hypocrisy of the ruling dispensation. They indulge in theatrics, lack values. Excel in jumlas, lack patriotism."
Commenting on the video, TMC leader Derek O'Brien said: "Dear Amit Shah, please tell the nation whether this act infuriates you? Whether the act hurts your nationalistic sentiments? Or, will this act be forgiven only because he's your son?"
"We are not looking for excuses. We are looking for concrete answers. Sincerely, an angry Indian," he said.
TMC spokesperson Saket Gokhale said the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has argued that Jay Shah did not hold the tricolour because he was there as the ACC president and was following protocol.
"The same BJP hounded former V. P. Hamid Ansari when he (correctly by protocol) didn't salute the flag during Republic Day parade as he wasn't wearing headgear," Gokhale said.
Hardik Pandya came up with a special all-round effort as India held their nerves to pull off an exciting five-wicket win over Pakistan in the match.