Zeenews Sports Bureau
It was supposed to be a moment of pride for the newly crowned IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders. But West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who completed a year in office a few days back, stole the show completely and tried to project the achievement as her own.
Mamata was at her usual best and took charge of the victory parade on Tuesday. She virtually controlled the crowd and press alike at the Eden Gardens who gathered there in thousands to take part in the glorious felicitation ceremony.
The programme began with National anthem after which gold chains and mementos were distributed among the members of KKR. They were also garlanded with blue-coloured scarfs.
Meanwhile, joyous moment turned sour for some who gathered outside the Eden as they faced police ire when the crowd broke the barricade. Police had to resort to lathicharge to control the madding crowd outside the stadium.
With a frenzied crowd of thousands cheering on, the champions began a victory parade from south Kolkata`s Hazra Crossing on a flower-bedecked open top trailer and reached the stadium for the special ceremony.
More than 50,000 people lined up on both sides of the road from Hamza at South Kolkata to the Eden Gardens after the victory procession started at 11.10am.
It was, however, a celebration reminiscent of India`s World Cup victory last year as the entire city went purple with many coming from various parts of the state wearing Knight Riders team colours.
The victory lap began from Hazra with two vehicles, one with the triumphant team members and the other had the celebrities dancing and waving to the frenzied crowd gathered on both sides of the street.
They had the first stop at Jadu Babur Bazar for a short felicitation en route to the Writer`s Building via Akashvani Bhavan, the point from where the crowd were not allowed.
Chief Minister felicitated the players at the Writer`s as the team made their way for the grand celebration at the Eden Gardens, organised by the state government, Kolkata Municipal Corporation and Cricket Association of Bengal.
First Published: Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 13:33