West Bengal is fighting a debt burden of over Rs. 2 lakh crores. The felicitation ceremony at the Eden Gardens was elaborate and gorgeous."We have been waiting for this day so long. Thank you Didi. Thank You Kolkata. Thank you West Bengal on behalf of every member of the team. Only Kolkata will rule," said Shah Rukh Khan, the brand ambassador of West Bengal, and the owner of the franchise whose voice was lost amidst thunderous applause."
“Today is the true poribartan (change) that our chief minister promised a year ago," said Bengal Governor M K Narayanan who looked unusually elated. The players had nothing much to say and it became ‘a state-sponsored party for the IPL winners’ hosted by the almighty Ms Banerjee herself. The crowd of nearly 70,000 at the stadium cheered as the chief minister called co-owner Juhi Chawla and team captain Gautam Gambhir for cutting the cake. She took the microphone to read out the inscription on the cake "Larechhi, Karechhi, Jitechhi (fought, done, won)." She probably plans to reap political dividends from this magnificent occasion.
But the question remains that Mamata has not shown so much love for cricket icon Saurav Ganguly who restored the honour of Indian cricket and for Bengal won the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Saurav alongwith Laxmi Ratan Shukla guided Bengal to the Vijay Hazare Trophy triumph as they comprehensively thrashed heavyweights Mumbai by six wickets in the final. Saurav was not felicitated although he was one of the most successful captains of Indian cricket. What is worse, Mamata earlier objected to the inclusion in Election Commission advertisement panel the name of Saurav on the plea that the cricketer is close to the CPI(M). There may be some truth in this exaggeration since Saurav spoke candidly about his preference of Ashok Bhattacharya and Buddhadeb Bhattacharya. Saurav was not sanctioned a plot of land for his Cricket Academy by the Mamata Banerjee.
In a word, Mamata is cyclop –eyed in her patronization of cricketers. Those who flatter her will be amply rewarded and those who won't will be branded CPI(M) or Maoists. One Mr. Ganesh Ghosh who came to see the roadshow commented, “Mamata is showing excessive support for West Bengal Brand Ambassador Shah Rukh Khan and spending money like water. We tax payers will suffer for it.”Mamata should not be oblivious of the poor condition of the exchequer. Only time will tell if such cyclop-eyed patronization of Shah Rukh and the KKR will really do any good for Cricket as a game for all in India and Bengal as well. One wrote on Twitter: “Mamata announces victory rally over KKR's win in IPL. Should've delayed the anti petrol price rise rally & done a 2 in 1 - austerity.”
An octogenarian cricket lover who braved the noon heat to see the roadshow commented sarcastically, “Mamata does not want to miss the chance of refurbishing her image this time as former Left Front Minister Ashok Bhattacharya used to do with Saurav earlier.” The master stroke was given by actor Shah Rukh when he said that Mamata Banerjee has to promise that she will dance if KKR wins next year. Mamata giggled and said, “No…. I can sing for you”. The Eden spectacle in spite of criticism from the Left minded people was rich with such countless intimate moments of cordiality.
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