Kolkata, April 16: Former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly has unknowingly found himself in the middle of the ongoing electoral battle in West Bengal.
According to reports, an organisation close to Trinamool Congress (TMC) candidate from Behala West constituency in South 24 Parganas district, Partha Chatterjee, has distributed leaflets requesting the local voters to back the latter in the April 30 election.
The leaflets bear names of local celebrities seeking support for Chatterjee and the first name in that list is of Ganguly, who is also a local resident.
But the former cricketer, who is the president of the Cricket Association of Bengal now, was completely taken aback after knowing about the leaflet.
In the leaflet, the performance of Chatterjee as the MLA of Behala West constituency has been highlighted and at the end, names of 19 celebrities, including that of Ganguly, seeking support for the education minister have been mentioned.
The news has created quite a sensation for the former cricketer has always maintained a distance from politics and a lot of people were surprised to see his name featuring in a list favouring a particular party.
Though Chatterjee refused to see anything political in the episode and said it was just an appeal from Ganguly to ensure that the development work in Behala West continues with his second successive win, those close to the former cricketer felt there was something fishy. According to a report in Anandabazaar Patrika, Ganguly was completely surprised when asked about it.
"Nobody has taken any permission to use my name. I am never involved in all this," the ABP report quoted him as saying. Chatterjee, however, said the organisation which published the leaflet has a good relation with Ganguly and must have taken his permission to use his name.
Ganguly said he will see into the issue.
Various political parties have tried to get Ganguly on board during the last Lok Sabha election but the latter politely turned down all of them.