Mamata Banerjee isn’t the first politician to try and leverage a sporting achievement to her own advantage. She won’t be the last. The victory of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) may well be a win for the people of Kolkata and West Bengal. But tempting as the prospect of sharing the glory of the team and its charismatic owner, Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, may have been, the chief minister should have asked herself whether it was worthy of a public spectacle (featuring her, the Union rail minister, who is from her party, and the state’s governor). As things turned out, the spectacle was mismanaged and resulted in a near-stampede. Still, it can’t be denied that the performance of KKR in the just-concluded edition of the Indian Premier League may be the only paribortan (change) evident in a state that elected the Trinamool Congress to power on that platform just around a year ago.
Chief minister of West Bengal, MamataBanerjee (C) holds the IPL Twenty20 champion’s trophy with Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir (2L) as teammates and officials look on during celebrations in front of the Writers Building in Kolkata on Tuesday. AFP