In a move to connect to the local people ahead of polls, Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday invoked Bengali icon and former Indian cricket team captain Sourav Ganguly in his speech. He said that like Ganguly hit a six, with the state’s support, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would too hit a six in the assembly elections.
“Whenever Sourav Ganguly crossed the crease, it was sure that he would hit a six. Likewise, with your support in Lok Sabha, we’ve crossed the crease and surely we’ll hit a six in assembly polls and form BJP govt here,” Singh said in West Midnapore.
Ganguly, the president of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), had recently suffered a mild stroke. According to doctors, three arteries of the 48-year-old were blocked by over 70 per cent and he received a stent in one of the arteries.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and state governor Jagdeep Dhankhar were the first to visit the former India skipper at the hospital. He received calls from the home minister and the prime minister inquiring about his health.
Dhankhar also met the cricketer at Raj Bhavan for the first time, in the over two years he has spent in office. Pictures of the meeting had also gone viral on all social platforms.
According to a report in Indian Express, the hospital authorities had set up a special ‘Sourav Ganguly lounge’ with tea, coffee and water dispensers for visitors who went there without permission. At the lounge, health updates of the former cricketer were shared with the fans at regular intervals.
There were speculations of Bengali actor Prosenjit Chatterjee, Mithun Chakraborty and cricketer Sourav Ganguly joining the BJP. However, while Ganguly and Chatterjee haven’t yet joined the saffron brigada, Chakraborty became a member a few days ago.
The ruling Trinamool Congress, however, feels that this is a BJP strategy “to confuse people”. “By clicking pictures with Sourav Ganguly or Bumba Da (Prosenjit) or Mithun Da, who are immensely popular among Bengalis, BJP is trying to create confusion. Like every other false agenda they bring, this is another fake narrative,” the TMC Rajya Sabha MP and theatre director Arpita Ghosh was quoted as saying by The Print before Chakraborty’s entry into the BJP.