Kolkata, May 9, 2022 – As the terms of two President-nominated Rajya Sabha members from West Bengal, actress Rupa Ganguly and former journalist Swapan Dasgupta are about to end soon, speculation is rife over the possible entry of BCCI president and former Indian cricket team captain, Sourav Ganguly’s spouse, Dona Ganguly into the Upper House of Parliament.
State BJP sources said that the matter was discussed on the evening of May 6, when Union Home Minister Amit Shah had dinner at Ganguly’s residence. Shah was accompanied by Swapan Dasgupta, state BJP president Sukanta Majumdar and Leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal assembly, Suvendu Adhikari. Dona Ganguly, an acclaimed Odissi dancer, also performed at a cultural programme at Kolkata’s iconic Victoria Memorial on May 6 evening which was attended by Shah.
Although there was neither any acceptance or denial from the Ganguly family on this count till this report was filed, statements by state party president, Sukanta Majumdar and BJP’s national vice president, Dilip Ghosh on Monday sparked the speculation further.
On Monday, Ghosh told media persons that he will be happy if someone from West Bengal like Dona Ganguly goes to the Rajya Sabha as a President-nominated member. “The President of India nominated acclaimed persons from various fields to the Rajya Sabha. If someone from West Bengal is nominated, we would be happy,” Ghosh said.
Sukanta Majumdar neither denied nor accepted this development. “This is an internal matter of the party and it would not be right to speak to the media on this issue. The central leadership is looking into the matter and they will take the final decision,” Majumdar said. However, he added that he would be happy if Sourav Ganguly himself goes to the Upper House.
Ganguly has always been a favourite of political leaders cutting across political lines. He is known to be quite close to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. He was also close to former West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and former state municipal affairs and urban development minister in the Left Front regime, Ashok Bhattacharya.
Before the 2021 West Bengal assembly elections, there were rumours that Ganguly might be the BJP’s chief ministerial face, but that did not happen. (Agency)