A day after cricket legend Sourav Ganguly was appointed the brand ambassador of Tripura tourism, BJP tried to showcase the appointment as a ‘righting of a wrong’ against a son of the soil, while TMC termed it as a normal practice and asked the saffron party not to politicize the selection.
The BJP unit in West Bengal claimed that the former Indian skipper was not given his due in Bengal under TMC rule and demanded he should be appointed as the Sheriff of Kolkata.
“The TMC-led West Bengal government never gave Sourav Ganguly his due respect … the BJP–led Tripura government made him their brand ambassador,” BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar said.
The BJP MP also demanded that the former Indian skipper be “appointed the Sheriff of the metropolis”.
Echoing him, BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh also said the TMC had shed “crocodile tears” when Roger Binny replaced him as the BCCI president last year but had not given Ganguly his due.
“When you have a legend like Sourav Ganguly in your state, why do you need someone else as the state's brand ambassador (Shahrukh Khan is Bengal’s brand ambassador)? But the TMC never bothered to cater to the emotions of Bengalis in the state,” Ghosh said.
When cricketer Roger Binny replaced Ganguly as the BCCI president last year, West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC boss Mamata Banerjee had expressed shock over Ganguly’s “removal”. TMC had claimed it was a fallout of “political vendetta” and accused the BJP of “trying to humiliate” the former Indian skipper as it failed to induct him into the party.
Reacting to the allegations levelled by BJP, the TMC urged the saffron camp not to politicise a routine practice.
“It is a normal practice to appoint film stars and cricketers as brand ambassadors. Tripura has done nothing out of the box. The BJP is deliberately trying to politicize the issue. We all know how Sourav Ganguly was humiliated by the BJP during the BCCI episode last year,” TMC MP Sougata Roy said.
Ganguly was once rumoured to be the person BJP wanted to rope in for a leadership role in the party's West Bengal unit, as it was looking for a face to counter Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's charisma. However, the legendary cricketer has till now steered away from politics.
On May 16, the West Bengal government decided to upgrade the security cover of Sourav Ganguly to Z category.
The decision was taken following the expiry of the tenure of Y category security provided to Ganguly.
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