Googly on Tripura’s recognition for Sourav Ganguly

Former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly. file | Photo Credit: Vijay Soneji

The decision by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Tripura to appoint former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly as the brand ambassador of the northeastern state has triggered a political controversy with the BJP and the Trinamool Congress engaging in a dirty match. .

West Bengal BJP leaders on Monday lauded the Tripura government’s decision and asserted that it has rectified the mistake committed by the Trinamool Congress government.

West Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar said, “The West Bengal government never gave Sourav Ganguly his due, while the BJP-led Tripura government made him their brand ambassador.”

The Trinamool Congress leadership, including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, wept in October 2022 when Mr Ganguly was denied a second term as the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Ms Banerjee had made a public appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to give Sourav Ganguly a second term as BCCI president.

BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh, referring to the events of October last year, said the Trinamool leadership had shed “crocodile tears” when Roger Binny replaced Sourav Ganguly as BCCI president, but he was never acknowledged for his role. Didn’t get the right.

“When you have people like Sourav Ganguly in your state, why do you need someone else as the state’s brand ambassador,” Mr Ghosh said, adding that Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan is the state’s brand ambassador.

The Trinamool Congress leadership said the BJP was deliberately trying to politicize the issue. “It is a common practice to appoint film stars and cricketers as brand ambassadors. Tripura has not done anything out of the box. The BJP is deliberately trying to politicize the issue,” said Saugata Roy, Trinamool Congress MP.

Mr. Roy said everyone is aware of how Sourav Ganguly was humiliated by the BJP during the BCCI episode last year.

Mr. Ganguly is known to have good relations with Mamata Banerjee and is often seen at various events organized by the state government. Recently, the West Bengal government had upgraded the security cover of Mr. Ganguly from Y to Z category.

Ahead of the 2021 Assembly elections, there was speculation about Mr Ganguly joining the BJP and Union Home Minister Amit Shah met the former cricketer at his Kolkata residence. However, Mr. Ganguly joined the BJP. According to sources, the former cricketer waited for a few days for the Tripura government’s offer to make him the state’s brand ambassador.