Sourav Ganguly is hugely famous in West Bengal. He has a good influence and impact in Bengal and the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) is looking to rope in the former India skipper to counter Mamta Banerjee.
The BJP had left no stone unturned to have an upper hand in West Bengal. They made celebrities like Bappi Lahiri and Babul Supriyo campaigning for them in the past, but couldn't get Ganguly join the party.
The president of Cricket Association of Bengal had admitted he received an offer by BJP but said he wouldn't be joining the party. "I have declined it. I won't be contesting the elections," Ganguly had said in 2015. He is also said to have turned down the TMC’s offer to contest the election.
As per The Sunday Guardian reports, a source said: “He is someone who is as popular, if not more, as Mamata. He has a clean image, he is not an outsider and people here just love him. He is known for standing up in adversarial circumstances. We need him to make a visible impact in West Bengal in the 2019 polls and the 2021 Assembly elections. The discussions have been happening for some time now. No time frame can be given right now (on when, or if, he would join the BJP), but if it happens, it will happen before the end of 2018.”
The BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) are trying hard to get the popular face in the party bag more votes. “It is our top priority state right now. Out of the 42 seats there, we intend to give a tough fight on at least 30 seats which we have identified. You must understand that in the past, we had absolutely no interest or structure in the state. Compare that with our current position in Bengal. We have now both intent and structure in Bengal. Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are focused on Bengal, not just for electoral reasons, but due to strategic reasons as well,” said a source in the RSS.