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Baichung, P K Banerjee, Chuni Goswami not amused by Left campaign
March 31, 2006 14:19 IST
First came the CD hailing the Left Front's achievements in West Bengal and then came the sharp denial from the soccer trio, including Baichung Bhutia, about their awareness of it being used in the poll campaign for the Assembly elections in April.
Stunned by the realisation that the CD was being used for the poll campaign, former Olympians P K Banerjee and Chuni Goswami and Indian captain Baichung Bhutia made it clear that they were unaware that they were campaigning for the government when asked to comment on certain issues regarding the development of the state.
Baichung Bhuitia, who is also East Bengal skipper, said, "My focus is on the National Football League. I just want to win it for East Bengal. I have nothing to do with any party. If I ever campaign for anyone, it will be on the basis of personal relations and have nothing to do with politics," he said.
"When they took my shots, they told me that it would be used to showcase development in the villages. No one told me it would be used for political purposes," he said.
P K Banerjee said, "Never have I been publicly aligned with any political party. Why should I need political colour at this age? By God's grace I am acceptable to everyone. No one has asked me to seek votes for any party." Chuni Goswami said he did rate the government's performance, but it was only Thursday that he found out that it would be used to woo the voters.
"I rated the government six out of ten. But I did not know that it would be a part of a political campaign," he said.
Earlier, there were rumours that former Team India skipper Sourav Ganguly would bat for the Left Front. But he called the press and made it clear that neither was he campaigning for the Left in the forthcoming Assembly polls nor was he approached by the front formally.
In this case also the goals scored on Wednesday after the CD was made public with comments of these three footballers along with intellectuals and other celebrities from the state praising the achievements of this government in the state, was called off-side by the players themselves.
The sports fraternity have maintained a distance from all political parties in the state and the three soccer players maintained the tradition of sporting neutrality.