KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday alleged that former India skipper Sourav Ganguly had been “excluded in an unfair way” from another term as BCCI chief and said he should be allowed to contest THE ICC election.
BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari, who is the Leader of the Opposition in Bengal, took a swipe at Mamata Banerjee and said she should appoint Ganguly as brand ambassador of West Bengal in place of actor Shah Rukh Khan. He said the Trinamool Congress leader should not do politics in the matter.
Mamata Banerjee said here that Ganguly is popular and “not a political party member” and the Centre should not take a “political decision”. “I request the PM to make sure Sourav Ganguly must be allowed to contest ICC election. He’s a popular figure which is why he is being deprived. Request GoI not to take a decision politically, but for cricket, sports…He is not a political party member,” she said.
“On behalf of all countrymen I say that Sourav Ganguly is our pride, he has skillfully managed his sports and administration career. He was BCCI president. He was excluded in an unfair way; the compensation for it will be to send him to ICC,” she said.
The last date to file nominations for the International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman elections is October 20. Former Indian cricketer Roger Binny is set to take over as the next BCCI chief.
Reacting to Banerjee’s remarks, Suvendu Adhikari said if she wants to extend “Sourav Ganguly’s tenancy then, she should have made him the brand ambassador” of the state. “Remove Shah Rukh Khan and make Sourav Ganguly the brand ambassador of West Bengal. Don’t do politics in sports. PM Modi stays out of these things,” he said.
Earlier, Trinamool Congress MP Santanu Sen had alleged “political vendetta” for Ganguly not getting another term as BCCI president. “Amit Shah visited Sourav Ganguly’s house a few months ago. There is information that Ganguly was approached repeatedly to join BJP. Probably as he has not consented to join BJP and is from Bengal, he has become prey to political vendetta. Amit Shah’s son was retained as BCCI secretary, but not Ganguly,” Sen had said.
BJP’s Locket Chatterjee had slammed TMC for politicising the issue. “Those who are criticizing Sourav Ganguly, look at your face in the mirror. Sourav Ganguly is the pride of our Bengal. It has nothing to do with politics. Sourav Ganguly will go higher in the coming days. Those who have criticized the family system, like pishi-bhaipo, Manik Bhattacharya, Paresh Adhikari, and Anubrata Mandal have done it for their family members. BJP does not believe in the family system,” Chatterjee had said.
Sourav Ganguly is slated to file his nomination for the president’s post at the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB). (ANI)