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Sourav Ganguly’s BCCI stint: a political issue between Bengal BJP and TMC

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Cricketing legend and former Indian men’s Cricket team captain Sourav Ganguly’s stint as the President of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will very likely be over on 18 October at the upcoming AGM. Ganguly will most likely be replaced with 1983 World Cup winning team member Roger Binny.

Several reports have stated that Sourav had expressed his will to continue as BCCI president for a second term, which was rejected. He had reached Mumbai on Monday to hold meeting with several stakeholders. He was however, told that there is no precedence of giving a second term to the Board president.

TMC accuses BJP

West Bengal’s ruling party Trinamool Congress was quick to comment on the situation. They claimed that While Union Minister Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah will continue to remain BCCI’s treasurer for a second term, the BJP dropped the ‘Dada’ or ‘Maharaja’ of Indian cricket fans because he did not join the saffron party.

It is to be noted here that Sourav Ganguly continued as BCCI president for three terms. He was nominated to the position in 2019, right ahead of the upcoming state assembly election in 2021.

Sourav Ganguly was targeted as he refused to join BJP ahead of the West Bengal Assembly election held last year, TMC alleged. 

Trinamool Congress’ Santanu Sen said this is an example of political vendetta that Amit Shah’s son can be retained as the secretary of the BCCI but Sourav Ganguly can’t. “Is it because he is from the state of Mamata Banerjee or he didn’t join the BJP? We are with you Dada!” the Rajya Sabha MP tweeted.

Trinamool spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said, “Since the BJP floated such propaganda during and after the polls, it will surely be the responsibility of the BJP to respond to such speculations (that politics is behind Ganguly not getting a second term as BCCI chief). It seems the BJP is trying to humiliate Sourav,” he said. Ghosh was referring to Amit Shah visiting Ganguly’s residence at Behala, Kolkata for dinner in May this year. 

“I think Sourav is the best person to explain the situation. If he has any political interpretation of the situation, I don’t know how much he can articulate,” Kunal Ghosh said.

BJP hits back at TMC

The BJP dismissed the speculations as baseless and said that the party never tried to induct Sourav Ganguly. “We don’t know when the BJP tried to induct Sourav Ganguly into the party. Sourav Ganguly is a cricketing legend. Some people are now shedding crocodile tears about the changes in BCCI. Did they have any role when he took over as BCCI president? The TMC should stop politicising every issue,” Dilip Ghosh said.

Sourav out of BCCI

Sourav Ganguly was offered the position of Indian premiere League (IPL) chairman as current chief Brijesh Patel set to turn 70 in November this year. He however, rejected it and said ‘he cannot accept becoming head of a sub-committee in BCCI after heading the same institution’.

This means that the 39th President of BCCI is soon to become a former designation holder and unlikely to be the cricket board’s choice for the post of ICC chairman. The BCCI election next Tuesday is expected to be a formality since none of the office-bearers’ posts had more than one nomination on the first day of filing the papers.

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