Former Team India captain Sourav Ganguly, known to have close proximity with Left Front Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, has accepted an invitation from Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee to share a dais for laying the foundation stone of a railway sports stadium in Kolkata on October 15. Ganguly will be the chief guest, reports the Mumbai newspaper DNA.
This is the first time Ganguly, known to be close to chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, will be sharing the dais with Mamata Banerjee.
The cricketer was not seen at the railway minister's celebrity-studded event to inaugurate the expanded metro network some months back.
Ganguly, however, rubbished talk of any understanding between him and the railway minister, saying he's going to attend the event because he supports all developmental initiatives in the state.
Ganguly had been an ardent supporter of the industrial policies of the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government. He's written many articles expressing solidarity with the government and even at the height of the Left-Mamata tussle over Singur, Ganguly was vocal against the Trinamool Congress.
Political analysts feel that people have seen many celebrities switching political sides, which is why such matters have become a subject of gossip and rumour.
"A majority of the celebrities in Trinamool were long-time supporters of CPI(M). There is feeling that as the wind of change become stronger, more people will switch sides," said one analyst.
"Unfortunately, some people are applying the same logic in Ganguly accepting the offer to be chief guest. I am sure he's doing it because he's a sportsman. By accepting the invitation, Ganguly has snubbed all talk of him being close to one political force," an analyst said.