After Shah’s Visit, Sourav Ganguly Talks Of His Relation With Mamata


New Delhi: After Union Home Minister Amit Shah paid a visit to his house and had dinner with his family, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Saturday spoke of his tight relationship with the West Bengal Chief Minister, who is known to be a vocal opponent of the BJP, news agency PTI reported.

Ganguly, a former Indian cricket captain, also praised minister and city mayor Firhad Hakim, characterizing him as  someone who can be contacted at any time of day.

During the inauguration programme of a private hospital, Ganguly said, “Our honourable Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is a person very close to me. I had approached her to help up this institute.”

“I am also very close to Firhad Hakim. He has been seeing me since I was in Class 1. He has been our family friend. All who approach him get help. I too have called him several times,” Ganguly was quoted by PTI in its report.

Shah’s Friday visit to Ganguly’s home fueled rumours that the former cricketer might enter politics shortly.

The meal was said to be an intimate family event, with Ganguly and his wife, dancer Dona Ganguly, as well as the cricketer’s elder brother Snehasish Ganguly and other family members hosting.

Sukanta Majumdar, the party’s state president, and Suvendu Adhikari, the Leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal assembly, followed Shah.

Aware of the rumours, Ganguly stated, “Many speculations are rife but I have known him (Shah) since 2008. While playing, I used to meet him. There’s nothing more than that.”

He also stated that he had worked with Shah’s son, Jay Amitbhai Shah, on the Indian Board of Control for Cricket. The secretary of the BCCI is Jay Shah.

Dona Ganguly stated that there was no political conversation during Shah’s visit to the Ganguly house.

“I don’t know whether Sourav will enter politics or not. But he will do well if he joins politics. I believe he will do good work for the people,” Amit Shah said.¬†

On April 28, Ganguly visited the state secretariat and talked with Banerjee about allocating land for a stadium to the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB).

Political analyst Biswajit Chakraborty described Ganguly as a “businessman” who is attempting to maintain good relations with both the federal and state administrations in order to keep his company running smoothly.

“Ganguly is doing this for his own benefit. He knows that he has to keep both the Centre and Mamata Banerjee happy so that his business keeps running. He has been balancing quite nicely,” Chakraborty told PTI.

Another analyst referred to Ganguly as a “perfect gentleman” who was performing a “balancing act.”

“Ganguly is an immensely intelligent man. I guess Shah had come to his residence yesterday to evaluate how much Ganguly is ready to plunge into politics. And today, he (Ganguly) spoke about his closeness to the CM. Though I do not see any significance in it, I think he is doing it because he has to survive both nationally as well as in the state,” he added.

(With PTI Inputs)


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