BCCI President and former Indian Cricket Team Captain Sourav Ganguly called on West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar on Friday and spent over two hours in the Raj Bhawan premises. The sudden visit by Sourav Ganguly has raised the stakes within West Bengal, as the TMC begins shivering at the thought of the BJP making the upcoming state assembly polls early next year an all-out ‘Dada versus Didi’ fight.
It must be remembered that news of Sourav Ganguly joining the BJP appears in the national airwaves almost seasonally now, but with Dada meeting West Bengal’s Governor yesterday, the deal might have very well been clinched for once and for all.
“The governor said he has been in Bengal since July last year. He said he wanted to visit Eden Gardens and meet me. I said that was not possible today as there was some cricket practise going on. I decided to come and meet him and invite him to Eden Gardens next week,” Ganguly told reporters at the Raj Bhavan gates. “This was just a courtesy call,” he said after emerging from talks.
“Don’t speculate. The governor has not seen Eden Gardens yet,” the BCCI President added, dismissing the media speculations of him joining BJP.
Although the chatter was as loud as it could get, Ganguly refused to comment on the prospect of him joining the saffron party shortly, neither refuting nor accepting the proposition. Sourav Ganguly not outrightly dismissing talks of him joining the BJP has sent the TMC in an unending panic attack. Only recently, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said that the next Chief Minister of Bengal would be a “bhoomiputra” (son of the land), without divulging further details.
Sourav Ganguly joining the BJP would be a big shot in the arm for the saffron party, which needs to project a Chief Ministerial candidate in the runup to the all-important assembly polls early next year. Even if not announcing the candidacy of anyone formally for the post before the polls, the BJP would like to contest the elections with the citizens identifying and rallying behind a local face for the top post. Ganguly’s mass appeal within West Bengal will most certainly ring the death knell for Mamata Banerjee’s electoral fortunes in the state.
Sourav Ganguly will naturally, after he met with the West Bengal Governor yesterday, find himself surrounded by media contingents wherever he goes. It would not be an overstatement to say that an announcement regarding Ganguly’s induction into the saffron fold can come in the very few next days, as a major hint has already been dropped by Dada with his meeting at Bengal’s Raj Bhawan yesterday.