Former India cricket captain Sourav Ganguly is not joining the BJP, at least for now.
A tweet yesterday by industrialist Harsh Goenka had caused ripples in the political and sports circles. The BJP today dismissed the suggestion as “unfounded,” as have others close to Ganguly.
“There is no basis in the tweet,” BJP national secretary, Siddarth Nath Singh said on the sidelines of a rally today. “The tweet was by a third person and factually incorrect,” confirmed BJP state general secretary, Biswapriya Roychowdhury. Ganguly, however, has not broken silence on the issue yet.
Dismissals rolled in from the non-BJP camp as well. “I spoke to Ganguly last night on several issues. There is not an iota of truth in the suggestion of his joining the BJP,” claimed former West Bengal urban development minister and senior CPI (M) leader, Asok Bhattacharya, who is known for his proximity to Ganguly.
Imagined or not, the BJP-Ganguly connection has been on the wire since the BJP offered Ganguly a ticket in the 2014 Parliament elections. Ganguly, more known for his propinquity with former West Bengal chief minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and the CPI-M by assumption, had declined the BJP offer, as did he to a reported Congress offer for Rajya Sabha nomination.
The BJP-Ganguly connection churned up yet again recently after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 25, 2014 nominated Ganguly among nine persons ambassador to take forward his pet issue ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, (Clean India Mission). Given the ethics of the mission, Ganguly has not turned it down.
Ostensibly close to the Left Front, particularly a section of the CPI (M) leadership, Ganguly so far never lent his name to the CPI (M) for election cause, but took calls from the Left leaders for social causes and events. The current gossip therefore had its share of raised eyebrows.