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West Bengal BJP seeks intervention of Narendra Modi for involving Kolkata giants in ISL

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Football and politics in India like any other part in the world carries a deep-rooted relationship. The politicians always remain in the mood of utilising the mass-following of the game by several means.

In current scenario of Indian football, the topic which is most hotly debated is the non-participation of Kolkata giants East Bengal and Mohun Bagan in the much-hyped Indian Super League and the fan’s protest as a consequence of this.

Previously all the major political parties in Bengal stretched their helping hand towards these two institutions regarding the issue but the two clubs were reluctant to further proceed on that path as they considered it wise to keep the process apolitical to avoid any possible glare of the AIFF and IMG-R.

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But today, Bharatiya Janata Party(West Bengal) have themselves taken the initiative and have written an open letter to Prime-Minister Narendra Modi to attract his attention on this burning issue of Indian football.

The letter signed by Ritesh Tiwary, the Secretary of West Bengal BJP read,

“Football is one of the most popular sports in Kolkata. Kolkata is known to be the hub of Indian football with the two most supported teams in the country being based within our city. Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are the emotionally and passionately attached to the game,’Football is in our Blood’.”

Besides talking about the following of football in Kolkata, the letter mentioned the contribution of the two clubs in Indian football. It added,

“This is to highlight the contribution of the Bengal Football clubs in the history of Indian football which is being ignored in recent times. The contributions of major clubs like Mohun Bagan, Ancient club of the century and East Bengal who have almost 100 years of glorious history in Indian football have not been considered in Indian Super League(ISL). In 1911, Mohun Bagan created history by becoming the first Indian club to win IFA Shield after defeating East Yorkshire Regiment…..”

In the penultimate para of the letter, it criticises the new cash-rich baby of AIFF-Indian Super League citing it as a mere money making machine for AIFF and the corporate sectors. It also takes one hand of AIFF regarding the omission of the Kolkata giants from ISL.

It said ,

“Earlier there was discussion for including both the clubs Mohun Bagan and East Bengal in ISL. Indian Super League is only created for profit-orientation and all major clubs should also be included to help improvement of the game as well. This year two new clubs like Tata and Bengaluru FC joined ISL. Though there is contribution of Tata in grooming many young football players but still it cannot be compared with the contributions of both Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. I personally feel that by excluding clubs like Mohun Bagan and East Bengal in this league is disowing the contribution of Bengal in Indian football.”

Thus by highlighting the exclusion of the two clubs by AIFF, the West Bengal branch of the political party has seemingly made it an issue for whole Bengal and seeks the intervention of its hierarchy.

Previously Mr. Tiwary wrote letters to Praful Patel, the President of AIFF and NCP leader and to Vijay Goel, the Sports Minister of the Central Government, but none gave any reply to that. Now it remains to be seen, whether the Prime-Minister responds to this proactive stand of a part of his party.