Sourav Ganguly deprived to secure someone else's interests, claims WB CM Mamata Banerjee
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has alleged that the BJP-led Centre is depriving former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly by not nominating him for ICC Chairman post.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday targeted her guns on the BJP-led Central government for allegedly depriving former Indian cricket skipper Sourav Ganguly by not nominating him for the ICC chairman's post, terming it an act of "shameless political vendetta".
Banerjee, who said she would have spoken out on the issue even if master batsman Sachin Tendulkar was similarly deprived, alleged that Ganguly was deprived of the chance to fight the election to 'secure someone else's interests'.
"Why was he not sent to ICC? It is to secure someone's interest (in the cricket board). I had spoken to various BJP leaders, but he was not allowed. He has been deprived.... This is a shameful political vendetta," she told reporters in Kolkata.
Meanwhile, TMC leader and MP Sougata Roy said, "It is a win-win situation for the TMC. If Ganguly is allowed to contest the ICC election, we can say that the BJP finally had to accept it because of the TMC's demand. If he is not allowed, it would be proved that the BJP is anti-Bengal and will hurt Bengali pride by insulting one of our icons."
The TMC had fanned Bengali sub-nationalism by coining poll slogan 'Bangla Nijer Meyekei Chai' (Bengal wants its own daughter), and used it to trounce the BJP in the 2021 assembly elections.
Earlier this week, the TMC boss expressed shock over Ganguly's "removal" as BCCI President and sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention so that he is allowed to contest the elections for International Cricket Council head.
Ganguly was once rumoured to be the man 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 steered away from politics, confining himself to cricket administration so far.
Roger Binny, a 1983 World Cup-winning squad member, has been elected as the 36th president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), taking over from Ganguly. However, the sports body's AGM on Tuesday concluded without discussing the ICC election.
(With inputs from PTI)