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More than mishti doi on the menu?  Sourav Ganguly will likely host Amit Shah for dinner

The Home Secretary is expected to meet Sourav Ganguly at his residence in Kolkata today. There is again speculation whether the president of the BCCI will take the political step

Union Home Minister Amit Shah is expected to visit Sourav Ganguly’s residence for dinner. ANI

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, visiting West Bengal, has an interesting evening ahead of him. The buzz is that former Indian cricket captain and BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) boss Sourav Ganguly is set to host Shah at his Kolkata residence on May 6 for dinner.

There was speculation that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tried to woo Ganguly ahead of last year’s Assembly elections in Bengal. Some reports even suggest that the former cricketer has been offered the job of chief minister if the party wins the election. But Ganguly has so far not taken the political leap.

Shah has a packed itinerary on his three-day visit to the state, his first since the election. Dinner with Ganguly is not included. However, the top BJP leader is due to attend a program at the Victoria Memorial on Friday night, where Ganguly’s wife, Dona, will perform. The dance performance is part of the Ministry of Culture’s “Mukti-Matrika” event.

‘Feed him mishti doi’

Media reports suggest that Shah will visit Ganguly’s residence in Behala, a southwestern suburb of Kolkata around 7 p.m. He is likely to be accompanied by opposition leader Suvendu Adhikari and MP Swapan Dasgupta, according to

BJP Vice President Dilip Ghosh, however, played down the speculation. “I don’t know whether he (Shah) will go to Sourav’s residence or not. We don’t have a schedule for that. Meeting eminent people is part of the tradition of our organization…let’s try to make up our minds,” he said, according to the news site.

West Bengal leader Mamata Banerjee couldn’t help but comment on the likely meeting between Shah and Ganguly. She said it was the culture of Bengal to welcome guests and take care of them. “If the Minister of the Interior goes to Saurav, what harm is there? I will tell Sourav to feed him mishti doi,” Banerjee joked Thursday.

Political connections

Ganguly maintains close ties with the Center. Home Secretary’s son Jay Shah works closely with BCCI chairman; he is the secretary of the cricket board.

Ganguly became chairman of BCCI in October 2019 when Anurag Thakur, the former chairman, was removed from office by a Supreme Court order. Along with Ganguly, two other people were elected unopposed to key positions – Shah as BCCI Secretary and Thakur’s brother Arun Dhumal as BCCI Treasurer.

The Prince of Calcutta, as he was affectionately known during his cricketing days, also shares a cordial relationship with Banerjee. He had visited Nabanna, the secretariat of West Bengal, a few days ago and held a meeting with the CM.

Go with the flow

The former cricketer has never said no to a political career. In 2021, when asked about his political ambitions and what to do next in his career, he said India today“We’ll see where it goes, what opportunities come up, we’ll take it from there.”

He had said that life had been full of surprising twists and turns and he had never really had a clue what was coming next for him. “When I became captain of India, I didn’t expect it because Sachin (Tendulkar) was captain. I probably wouldn’t have had it if Sachin hadn’t resigned. Similarly when I became president of the BCCI, I didn’t know the minute before that I would be president of the BCCI. That’s how my life has been… So we’ll see where it goes, “he added.

According to Ganguly, opportunities should be considered by considering various aspects of a person’s life. “Opportunities arise and you are influenced by a lot of things, your family, your lifestyle, your job, your health, we will see where that leads.”

Will Ganguly soon be batting for the BJP? We will have to wait and watch.

With contributions from agencies

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