By condemning one Ganguly and backing another, what's the BJP eyeing?

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If Congress takes Sachin Tendulkar, how can the BJP lag behind? The latter has given former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly an offer to contest the next Lok Sabha elections. According to reports, Ganguly could choose a seat from either Gujarat or Delhi if he feels that West Bengal is not a suitable place to contest on the BJP's ticket for the party isn't a big force in that state. In fact, the BJP has also promised to make Ganguly the Union sports minister if they come to power.

The former cricketer confirmed to a leading daily about the proposal although he was undecided till the latest reports came.

But why is the BJP eyeing Ganguly as a poll candidate?

The reason could be the man's iconic stature. The BJP has been trying to cash in on the youth sentiments this Lok Sabha election and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is often heard speaking about the youth power. In West Bengal, where the BJP is a weak entity and has just one Lok Sabha seat, using Ganguly's appeal to attract the youth there would be a significant move. Moreover, with the rival Congress making another ace cricketer Sachin Tendulkar an MP in the Rajya Sabha, Ganguly becomes an all the more favourite for thr BJP.

Alliances with Mamata and Sourav will help the BJP immensely in Bengal

But there could be a deeper question. Is the BJP tilting in favour of Ganguly since Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is seen with the cricketer on various occasions nowadays. A few days ago, Banerjee's government felicitated sportspersons from the state including Ganguly for their contribution and also the two were seen together at the Eden Gardens last month after Sachin Tendulkar played his final test match there. The BJP has been seen speaking in a tune similar to Banerjee about Justice Ganguly, seeking his removal in connection to sexually harassing an intern.

The calculation behind supporting one Ganguly while condemning another seems to be in tune with the pre-poll strategising by the BJP. For West Bengal has 42 seats and Modi, bolstered by the recent assembly poll results, will not let them go without a fight. But at the same time, it is too much of an ask for the party to do something spectacular under the leadership of a young leader like Varun Gandhi in this Lok Sabha.

An alliance with Mamata Banerjee for political benefit and Sourav Ganguly for social gains will be a welcome development for the BJP. And if Banerjee and Ganguly, who is known to be a man close to Left leaders in the state, are on the same side of th fence at the moment, then nothing like it.

The BJP is not leaving any stone unturned. The proposal to make Ganguly the sports minister of the country in case it wins shows its determination ahead of the big fight next year.

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