‘West Bengal government’s stepmotherly treatment towards Bagan disheartening’

Kolkata, June 19 (IANS) Mohun Bagan assistant general secretary Srinjoy Bose said he was disappointed at the West Bengal government’s stepmotherly treatment towards the the I-League champions, having been denied a felicitation programme to acknowledge its feat.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is viewed as a sports lover and she has peviously organised spontaneous felicitation programme’s for the city’s two sports franchises – Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) – after they won the 2014 Indian Premier League (IPL) and the 2015 Indian Super League (ISL), respectively.

But the government is yet to show any endeavour towards the Kolkata football giants after they won the I-league on May 31 after securing a 1-1 draw against runners-up Bengaluru FC in an away match. Till date, the club has only received a congratulatory message on Twitter from the chief minister.

Mohun Bagan snapped a 13-year wait for the trophy and also ended a five-year wait for any major title.

“Frankly speaking, we are gutted to see the shyness from the state government who spontaneously came up to host extravaganza while Kolkata Knight Riders, Atletico de Kolkata won IPL, ISL respectively. Mohun Bagan, the national club, is nothing less than a part and parcel of Bengali life,” Bose was quoted as saying by i-league.org on Friday.

“Don’t the boys deserve an acknowledgment from the government so that they could feel the adrenalin flowing within themselves? We expect more co-operation and synergy from the ministers and other political personnel to run a smooth show. We also hail from the same city; we too sweat it out to keep the flag flying high. Why are we stranded at the receiving end of wrong prejudices?”

Applauding the performance of coach Sanjoy Sen, Bose said, “the connoisseurs fell short of words while applauding Biswajit Bhattacharya, Subrata Bhattacharya, who had earned little plaudits until they took the hotseat of Mohun Bagan.”

“Sanjoy Sen, akin to these blokes, was the right chap to fit the bill after Subhash Bhowmick. He grabbed the opportunity with both hands and the magic happened.”

When asked about arch-rivals East Bengal club’s reaction after Bagan won the title, he said, “Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are flag-bearers from Kolkata, the powerhouse of Indian Football. It’s a common practice of congratulating the counterpart on their triumph. Anyways, we did not pay any heed to quite a few East Bengal numbers, who were utterly irked with our success.”

“No matter what we achieved, a chunk of East Bengal fans wholeheartedly cheered for Bengaluru FC on 31st May. On the other hand, I second it to some extent. This bitter rivalry, cutthroat antagonisms are the oxygen to Indian football. They are last individuals to be best buddies among themselves, but they are rivals not enemies,” Bose concluded.

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