West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday urged the Mumbai Cricket Association to reconsider its “undemocratic” decision of slapping a 5-year ban on actor and Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner Shah Rukh Khan from entering the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
“Barring entry to a person to a place is not right. It is undemocratic,” said Ms. Banerjee, who nominated Mr. Khan as the brand ambassador of the State earlier this year.
“It is too severe a punishment for a small mistake. We feel it is a small incident,” she said at the State Secretariat. Ms. Banerjee said she was appealing to the MCA as a citizen of the country and “not from my portfolio.”
Mr. Khan was frequently being criticised in the country and harassed outside, “Like Sachin Tendulkar, he is the pride of the country,” she said.
Insisting that she does not want to interfere in other States' affairs, she said Mr. Khan's actions were an “emotional” response “maybe because his children [were involved].”
Calling it a “sensitive matter,” she said: “I do not know whether it will be proper for me to comment; I do not want to interfere in another State's business”.
She said the greatest asset of the country was that we “love one another”. “We all love Maharastra; it the country's financial capital.”
Claiming that certain political parties were excessively criticising a small incident, Ms. Banerjee warned them “not to play with fire”.
She maintained that the issue should not be looked at as a “conflict between two States.” “Winning and losing is a part of the game….Mumbai has won here [in Kolkata]. We have won in Mumbai.”