BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly to join BJP next week?
Rumours are doing the rounds that India's cricket board chief Sourav Ganguly will join the country's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally in the poll-bound state of West Bengal's capital Kolkata next week.
Dada's (as he is affectionately called) recent meeting with Indian Home Minister Amit Shah in Kolkata has triggered the rumours about his formal induction into BJP in the presence of PM Modi on March 7. The former Indian skipper is, however, maintaining an eerie silence, reports UNB.
It may be mentioned here that BJP has not yet been able to zero in on its chief ministerial face in the eastern Indian state which goes to polls later this month. The state is currently ruled by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's regional Trinamool Congress party.
BJP, however, said Tuesday that it's up to Saurav to decide whether he would attend PM Modi's rally or not. "If he considers attending the programme, health and weather conditions permitting, he will be most welcome," spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya told the media.
In fact, Dada, sources said, was forced to defer his entry into politics in the wake of two back-to-back angioplasty surgeries in January. He was discharged from hospital on January 31, three days after he underwent the second angioplasty surgery.
Saurav underwent the first angioplasty at a leading private hospital in Kolkata on January 2, hours after suffering a mild heart attack during a gym session.
Three days later, India's leading cardiac surgeon Dr Devi Shetty, who flew down to Kolkata from the southern city of Bengaluru, declared Saurav absolutely fit. Saurav could run a marathon and fly a plane "as his heart is as strong as it was when he was 20", he had said.
This is not the first time that such rumours are spreading like wildfire in Kolkata. In December last year too, speculation was rife about Saurav's entry into Bengal politics after his meeting with state Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.
Saurav, however, later cleared the air about him joining politics: "If the Governor wants to meet you, you have to meet him. So let us keep it like that."
Considered one of the best captains in international cricket, Ganguly quit international cricket in 2008 but continued playing in the multi-billion-dollar cricketing tournament Indian Premier League for a few more years.
He scored more than 18,500 runs in Tests and one-day internationals. Last year, Dada was elected as the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the world's richest cricketing body.