Former cricket captain has sought time to consider ticket offer

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said here on Saturday that it has offered ticket to former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly for the 2014 general elections. He has been asked to choose his seat in West Bengal.

 Mr. Ganguly has sought time to ponder over the proposal. He has told the party leadership that he needs some time to think it over, senior leaders of the State BJP told The Hindu.

  “Yes, we have recently approached Mr. Ganguly with an offer to contest the upcoming polls from any seat of his choice in West Bengal. He did not say yes but said that he needs some time to think over the issue,” president of the State unit of the BJP Rahul Sinha said.

  Mr. Sinha said that it was BJP’s general secretary and observer to West Bengal Varun Gandhi who has made the offer to Mr. Ganguly.

  Over the past few weeks there were reports that the party has approached Mr. Ganguly although there was not much by way of an official confirmation. This is the first time that the party has acknowledged it.

  The former Indian cricket captain has maintained good terms with the previous Left Front government as also with the ruling Trinamool Congress government.

  According to the State BJP leadership, the party has made similar offers for the upcoming polls to those who have made a mark in different spheres of public life. However, the party is not willing to disclose their names at this moment.

  Even in the past the State unit of the BJP had fielded candidates who did not have a political background, but were recognised as eminent personalities in their respective areas of work.

  In 1991 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP fielded well-known actor Victor Banerjee and former world champion body-builder Manohar Aich. In 1996, well-known soccer coach Amal Dutta was also the party’s candidate.

  Though the percentage of the votes polled in the BJP's favour in West Bengal increased none of these candidates won the elections.