Bengal sports minister makes oblique remarks about Ganguly

November 10th, 2008 - 8:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Nov 10 (IANS) Even as West Bengal was singing paeans to home-grown cricketing hero Sourav Ganguly, whose international career ended Monday, state sports minister Subhas Chakraborty sang a different tune at a programme here.Attending a media meet where the itinerary of soccer legend Diego Maradona’s visit was announced, Chakraborty made oblique remarks about Ganguly when asked whether the cricketer would also be invited at the Argentine’s felicitation programme Dec 6.

“Sourav is a cricketer, Maradona is a footballer. Why should Sourav be present?,” he said.

When a scribe pointed out that Ganguly was a sports icon from Bengal, the minister shot back: “kakhano ek hoi naki, muri aar murki? (Can rice and paddy ever be the same?).”

He also reacted caustically when asked whether the state government would felicitate Ganguly. “Everyday somebody retires. Do you expect us to felicitate all of them?,” he asked.

Ganguly is known to be close to state municipal affairs minister Ashok Bhattacharya, with whom Chakraborty apparently does not see eye to eye.

Chakraborty, considered a loose canon of sorts for his repeated controversial comments, also brushed aside his own remarks Sunday that Maradona would make an aerial survey of Nandigram, the troubled hotspot in East Midnapore district which flared up last year over the state government’s move to set up a chemical hub.

“I had said what I had in a certain context. But there is no such possibility,” he added.

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