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KOLKATA: West Bengal's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sunil Gupta said here on Thursday that no evidence of the former Indian cricket team captain Sourav Ganguly's political affiliation had been found.
The Trinamool Congress had lodged a complaint with the Election Commission for the latter's decision to rope in Mr. Ganguly as the brand ambassador for the Assembly election, citing his alleged affiliation to the Communist Party of India (Marxist) as the reason.
Shows video footage
Alleging that Mr. Ganguly had acted as the brand ambassador for several departments of the State government, including the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation, the complaint was supported by a video-compact disc containing footages of press briefing by a few Ministers of the State government and news coverage in a local television channel.
“We have examined the question of Mr. Ganguly as a brand ambassador and ascertained that there is no such evidence.
“The video, too, was examined and we did not find any evidence of participation of Mr. Ganguly in any political campaign,” Mr. Gupta stated in a press release.
ECI to take final decision
Mr. Gupta added that the complaint and all the evidence along with the views of the State Election Commission have been sent to the Election Commission of India (ECI) for a final decision on the matter.
Mr. Ganguly and renowned percussionist Bickram Ghosh were selected by the Commission recently to participate in a video-shooting that will be used for awareness campaign for voters — known as “Voters' Awareness & Electoral Participation.”
The controversy arose after the Trinamool Congress alleged that Urban Development Minister Ashok Bhattacharya had announced that Mr. Ganguly would campaign for him in the election.
The CEO's press release said that Mr. Ganguly has expressed “concern” over the dragging of his office into a controversy and denied any involvement with a particular political party. “He stated in unequivocal terms that whatever he did was done as a cricketer and in furtherance of the cause of the game,”
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