Kolkata: After the controversy raised by
the Trinamool Congress that his political affiliation was with
the CPI(M) and he could not be a brand ambassador of the
Election Commission, former India captain Sourav Ganguly has
"Sourav has written to the Election Commission seeking
relief from the promo, and the commission giving respect to
his emotions and sentiment, has decided not to carry the
advertisement," DG (Information, Education and Communication)
of the West Bengal Election Commission Akshay Routh told
reporters here today.
"As there is a complaint by a major political party
that he has political affiliation and cannot be an ambassador
of the EC which resulted in a controversy, Sourav has
expressed unhappiness and has requested the commission not to
use him as brand ambassador," Routh said.
The controversy arose when Urban Development Minister
Ashok Bhattacharya of the CPI(M) claimed Ganguly would
campaign for him in the elections.
The Trinqamool Congress also complained that Ganguly
had previously worked as brand ambassadors for several
government departments including the West Bengal Industrial
Routh said that the Election Commission had been happy
earlier that Ganguly had agreed to be its icon to interest
people to vote in the state assembly elections. "Sourav is not
only an icon of the Election Commission, but is a national
Asked whether there was any difference of opinion
between the Chief Electoral Office and the Election Commission
on Ganguly`s political affiliations, Routh said "There is no
difference of opinion.
"The state CEO and Election Commission are unanimous.
We have found no proof of political involvement of Ganguly in
the CD provided by the political party," he said, speaking
about the CD provided by the Trinamool Congress to the EC.
"We have decided to withdraw Sourav only to give
respect to Sourav`s emotions. We can use him for a different
purpose," Routh said.
Ganguly fans, meanwhile, said that the decision was
politically motivated and to defame him.
"Sourav has contributed a lot to the promotion of
cricket. This is indisputable. He also responded to an
invitation by Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee to inaugurate a
stadium in Behala recently," they said.
Asked about Ganguly`s replacement, Routh said there
was percussionist Bikram, who has been chosen as brand
ambassador for the EC.
The EC has also decided to use the services of India
captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and former president A P J Abdul
Kalam who were used in EC advertisements during the recent
Jharkhand and Bihar elections, he said.