As West Bengal gears up for elections, there is huge speculation over Sourav Ganguly’s possible foray into politics. All eyes are now on the BJP rally at Kolkata’s Brigade Parade Ground on March 7, where as per some media reports, the former Indian cricket captain might share the stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Amid this, supporters of different political parties are claiming on social media that Ganguly has endorsed them. A picture of the BCCI president, donning a kurta and hands folded, is circulating with the text « Swagatam Dada ». However, the colour of Ganguly’s kurta changes as per the colours associated with CPI(M), Trinamool Congress and BJP, and so does the party symbol in the pictures.
The caption in Bengali with one such picture translates to, « The game is obviously on » The archived version can be seen here.
India Today Anti Fake News War Room (AFWA) has found that the original picture has no connection with any political party. Also, till the filing of this story, there has been no confirmation on Ganguly’s political plunge.
With the help of reverse image search, we found the original picture on « Pinterest ». The caption says that Ganguly here was endorsing prominent incense stick brand « Cycle Rhythm Agarbathies ».
We then found a few other pictures of the same endorsement on Ganguly’s official website and an advertorial video of Cycle Rhythm on YouTube.
The same picture of Ganguly wearing a saffron kurta has been used by BJP supporters after adding the party symbol with it. Trinamool and Left supporters have photoshopped the kurta colour and also their party symbols.
All the three major contenders in Bengal – BJP, Trinamool and Left – have announced their candidates for the first two phases, and Ganguly’s name does not feature in either of them. Political analysts have ruled out the possibility of the former cricketing star joining the Left.
There have been growing murmurs of Ganguly joining the BJP. Some media reports have also hinted that he might be sharing the stage with PM Modi during the BJP’s March 7 Brigade Parade Ground rally in Kolkata. However, Ganguly’s political moves have been wrapped in suspense.
« We know Sourav is under rest at home. If he considers attending the meeting, health and weather conditions permitting, he will be most welcome. If he is present, we think he will like it. The crowd will also like that. But we don’t know. It is for him to decide, » Hindustan Times quoted BJP’s state spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya as saying.
But it is clear that pictures of Ganguly endorsing different political parties being circulated on social media are morphed.
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