Sourav Ganguly meets West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar at the Raj Bhavan


Sourav Ganguly met West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankar for nearly two hours at the Raj Bhavan in Kolkata today, triggering speculation whether he was going to be fielded as the BJP’s trump card against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of the Trinamool Congress.

“This was just a courtesy call,” Sourav Ganguly said after emerging from talks. “Don’t speculate. The governor has not seen Eden Gardens yet,” Mr Ganguly said.

“The governor said he has been in Bengal since July last year. He said he wanted to visit Eden Gardens and meet me. I said that was not possible today as there was some cricket practice going on. I decided to come and meet him and invite him to Eden Gardens next week,” Mr Ganguly told reporters at the Raj Bhavan gates.

Mr Dhankar tweeted photos of himself with Mr Ganguly. “Had interaction with ‘Dada’ @SGanguly99 President @BCCI at Raj Bhawan today at 4.30pm on varied issues. Accepted his offer for a visit to Eden Gardens, oldest cricket ground in the country established in 1864,” the governor tweeted.

The Sunday meeting at Raj Bhavan has sent political temperatures soaring in Bengal. On his last visit to the state on December 19 and 20, Home Minister Amit Shah had said the next chief minister of Bengal would be a “bhoomiputra” (son of the land), but had not given any more details.

But speculation about the BJP trying to bring in Mr Ganguly is not new. The same had happened in January 2015 when Harsh Goenka, chairman of RPG Enterprises, tweeted, “Saurav Ganguly to join BJP. Big coup for the party in West Bengal. #Dada vs Didi.”

Mr Ganguly had declined to comment at the time and the BJP had also rubbished the tweet.

Mr Ganguly today categorically said his meeting with the governor was mere courtesy and there was no room for speculation.

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