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Former India cricketer Sourav Ganguly likely to join the BJP, say sources

| June 30, 2015, 12:51 PM IST

New Delhi: Former India cricketer Sourav Ganguly is in talks with senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and is likely to join the political outfit soon, say sources. In the last few months, the BJP has been very aggressive in Ganguly's home state of West Bengal and has taken on the Trinamool Congress government of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee head on on several issues including the multi-crore Saradha scam.

But Ganguly refused to comment of the speculations of him joining BJP. "I will not talk about this. Anything I say will be taken differently. The only time I was approached by BJP was during the Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan, It is a great initiative and I take it very seriously. I have the highest regard for Prime Minister Narendra Modi like everybody else," he said.

The 42-year-old Ganguly, one of India's best known cricketers and a highly successful captain, represented India in 113 Test matches and 311 One Day Internationals (ODI). He made his ODI debut on January 11, 1992 against the West Indies in Australia's Brisbane while he played his first Test against England at Lord's from June 20-24, 1996.

With the BJP on the ascendency in the state, several TMC leaders have joined the party dealing a huge blow to Mamata Banerjee who has been battling the negative image due her party's alleged links with Saradha scam. On January 15 Manjul Krishna Thakur quit the Mamata ministry and joined the BJP. Thakur held the refugee, relief and rehabilitation portfolio in the state and joined the BJP along with her son and panchayat functionary Subrata Thakur.

Dissent TMC leader and former railways minister Dinesh Trivedi, too, has hinted at joining the BJP. Trivedi, who was forced to quit a railways minister in 2012 after he hiked train passenger fare much to Mamata's chargin. Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Trivedi said that he is a great leader and the world is looking up to him.

BJP President Amit Shah and some senior party leaders have been touring extensively in West Bengal to strengthen the party.

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