The deadlock between Shree Cement and East Bengal (popularly known as ‘Red and Yellow’ because of their jerseys) was resolved with the intervention of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday.
Talks were going on for the last few weeks between Shree Cement and East Bengal (through mediators) and today the matter was resolved in a meeting chaired by Mamata Banerjee at the state secretariat ‘Nabanna’, where representatives of East Bengal and investor Shree Cement Limited was also present in an effort to break the deadlock over the final agreement.
Now, as per the agreements (between both the parties) – Shree Cement will continue to sponsor East Bengal and the team will now participate in the upcoming Hero Indian Super League (ISL).
Soon after the announcement – the Chief Minister asked both the parties to greet each other and said, “My wishes are there with them and all the football clubs….khela hobe (game will happen). I would like to thank Shree Cement for accepting our proposal at the last moment. Time is short but East Bengal will play. The problem is solved now.”
Interestingly, after the truce (between Shree Cement and East Bengal), Mamata Banerjee surprised everyone ‘humorously’ after she said that tonight she is going to have ‘chingri machher malai curry’ (Jumbo Prawn in coconut curry) – which is an unofficial mascot of Mohun Bagan.
“This season had enough ilish (Hilsa fish - which is an unofficial mascot of East Bengal)..so today I am going to have ‘chingri machher malai curry,” said Banerjee in a candid conversation with the officials present in the meeting.
On August 23, Banerjee had said that Shree Cement had written a letter to her government expressing unwillingness to continue investing in East Bengal.
Then, Shree Cement was requested to reconsider their decision and the Chief Minister has announced that the matter was resolved. She also announced that Shree Cement is going to invest in West Bengal in coming months.
In September 2020, the Shree Cement had announced to pick nearly 76 per cent stake in East Bengal.
Then, the acquisition came as a big relief for East Bengal after ‘Quess Corp’ pulled out as investors following differences with the club officials.
East Bengal was set up in 1920 and known as the football club of migrant Bengalis (those who moved to West Bengal during 1947).
On the sidelines of the Shree Cement and East Bengal issue - the Chief Minister while responding to media questions on ‘National Monetisation Pipeline’ (MNP) hits out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for selling to the country for BJP’s interest.
“Modi government can’t sell the country’s assets. It is not Modi’s asset but it is the country’s assets. It does not belong to the BJP. I am shocked with the decision (MNP). I condemn this and many people will join me in opposing the decision,” she said.
Commenting on the BJP leader’s demand for a separate Union Territory of North Bengal, she said, “This is not that easy. They want to sell our country but we will not let them divide our country.”