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    Team India's Saffron Cricket Jersey Sparks Row Between Nation's Ruling Party, Ex-Kashmir Minister

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    India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has lashed out at former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for suggesting India lost last night's Cricket World Cup match against England because players wore saffron jerseys. Earlier, Indian opposition parties had blamed the ruling party's 'Hindu nationalist" agenda for the switch.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): Team India's winning streak in the ongoing International Cricket Council's Cricket World Cup witnessed its first loss, to England's team on Sunday. The loss has been attributed to wardrobe failure: the famed 'Men in Blue' were sent to the pitch in Saffron jerseys. Some political leaders believe the move was influenced by an initiative launched by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to 'saffronise' things.

    'Saffronisation' is an Indian political neologism named after the saffron robes worn by Hindu ascetics which has been used by critics to ridicule right-wing nationalists for policies which seek to glorify the nation’s religious and cultural history.

    India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has lashed out at former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for attributing Team India’s Cricket World Cup loss to England on Sunday to the team’s “Saffron” jersey. 

    Mufti’s tweet on Sunday night ignited the ongoing protests against Team India’s new jersey by opposition parties, who had earlier doubted a BJP hand being behind the “Hindu nationalist” saffron colour of the new kit. 

    Numerous BJP leaders have slammed Mufti for her tweet with the party’s Jammu and Kashmir chief, Ravinder Raina, reportedly stating that Mufti’s “heart bleeds for Pakistan”, which is why she spoke against Indian team's jersey.

    Meanwhile Sanjay Raut, a key figure from BJP’s parliamentary ally, Shiv Sena party, also lashed out at the controversy over the saffron jersey, questioning Pakistan’s poor performance at the World Cup in spite of wearing “green” jerseys. The colour green is associated with the Islamic faith and the flag of Pakistan.

    "If that is the case, Pakistan wears a green jersey, why are they losing? Their players have grown their beards to look like clerics -- that is why they are losing. In our country, there are some crazy people who want to ruin India's name." Raut was quoted by India Today daily as saying.

    Meanwhile, political activists cutting across party lines and netizens slammed Mufti for her “anti-India” tweet.

    Some were flabbergasted by the fact thatthe leader could associate any team’s performance with the colour of their jersey.

    Indian opposition parties like Indian National Congress and Samajwadi Party recently suggested the BJP-led Indian government was behind the decision. 

    Team India’s jersey was officially changed by the Indian cricket board (BCCI) from blue to saffron for Sunday’s encounter as the English team's blue uniforms were too similar to India's. According to the International Cricket Council (ICC), in international tournaments, no two teams can wear uniforms with a similar colour.

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