“Sania was born in Maharashtra and settled in Hyderabad only later and, hence, is a non-local,” Laxman, leader of BJP in the state assembly, said. He also dubbed her as “daughter-in-law” of Pakistan, as she is married to Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik.

“Sania does not fit into the brand image of Telangana and Hyderabad,” state Congress chief Ponnala Lakshmaiah said.

A controversy has erupted over Telangana government appointing Sania Mirza as the state’s brand ambassador with BJP leader K Laxman describing her as “non-local” and “daughter-in-law” of Pakistan as the tennis ace hit back, saying she will remain an Indian till death.

In a statement, Mirza said: “I was born in Mumbai as my mother needed to be at a specialist hospital since she was seriously unwell at the time of my birth. I came home to Hyderabad when I was 3 weeks old.”

“My forefathers have lived in Hyderabad for more than a century. My grandfather, Mr Mohammed Zaffer Mirza started his career as an Engineer in Nizam’s Railways in Hyderabad in 1948 and died in his ancestral home in Hyderabad,” she said.

Sania also spoke about her great grandfather Mohd Ahmed
Mirza, insisting that he “was also born and raised in Hyderabad. He was the Chief Engineer, Water Works, Hyderabad and was responsible for constructing the famous Gandipet dam.”

“My great, great grandfather, Mr Aziz Mirza was the Home Secretary under the Nizam in Hyderabad and worked tirelessly for relief works during the historic Musi River floods of 1908.”
Sania said.

“So, my family belongs to Hyderabad for more than a century and I strongly condemn any attempts by any person, whosoever, to brand me an outsider. I hope this clears all doubts and issues,” she concluded.

Handing over a grant of Rs 1 crore here on Tuesday, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao appointed Sania as brand ambassador of Telangana and described her as a daughter of Hyderabad.