Kolkata: Home Minister Amit Shah, who is on a visit to Kolkata, had dinner at BCCI chief and former cricketer Sourav Ganguly’s home tonight. The visit was said to be a courtesy call since the Union Minister’s son, Jay Shah, is the former cricketer’s colleague as Honorary Secretary in the Board of Control for Cricket in India, or BCCI.
Mr Ganguly, 49, told reporters nothing political should be read into the meeting. He said he knows Amit Shah for over a decade and has met several times too.
“He (Amit Shah) will come in the evening. He has accepted my invite. We have a lot to talk about. I have known him since 2008. When I used to play, we met but not so much as I used to be on tour,” Mr Ganguly told reporters earlier today. “I work with his son. It is an old association,” he added.
On what is on the menu, Mr Ganguly smiled and replied, “…Will go home and see. He is a vegetarian.”
This is not the first time Mr Ganguly has had to deny any political angle to his meeting with Amit Shah. Before the West Bengal assembly elections early last year, he had to clear the air about his meeting with Amit Shah even then, denying he would join the BJP.
Speculation on whether Mr Ganguly would join the BJP has surfaced intermittently as far back as 2015 and before every major election in Bengal. Back then a strong buzz of “Dada vs Didi” – a reference to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee – did the rounds with Mr Ganguly reportedly in talks to join the BJP.
In January last year too, three months before the Bengal assembly elections, it was widely reported he was in talks with the BJP. The same month, the former cricketer suffered a mild heart attack. He did not respond to the reports of joining politics.