Footballer Mehtab in and out of BJP in a day
Goal in, goal out. Former India footballer Mehtab Hussain quit the BJP in less than 24 hours of joining it, perhaps the shortest stint for any party member acquired by Team Dilip Ghosh.
On Wednesday morning, Mehtab took to Facebook to announce his decision to quit. He had joined on Tuesday.
The BJP had plans to pitch the footballer — who played for East Bengal and Mohun Bagan as well as the Indian team — as a star campaigner for the Assembly polls.
In his Facebook post, Mehtab wrote: “I had joined politics because I wanted to stand beside the people who have made me whatever I am today… However, the same people urged me not to get involved in politics directly.” He also added that his family wanted him to stick to the football ground.
“This (quitting the BJP) was absolutely a personal decision,” Moumita, Mehtab’s wife, told The DSTV Darjeeling.
The BJP claimed that Mehtab’s flip-flop happened under pressure from Trinamul. “It has become a practice for Trinamul to stop anyone from joining the BJP,” said Sayantan Basu, a state BJP general secretary.
State BJP vice-president Joyprakash Majumdar accused Swapan Banerjee, an officebearer of the Mohun Bagan club and chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s brother, of forcing Mehtab to quit the BJP.
Trinamul denied the allegations. “There is no question of forcing anyone (to quit another party),” Trinamul spokesperson and minister Rajib Banerjee said. “I’m sure Mehtab has realised that if someone wants to be politically active in Bengal he has to be with Trinamul. What is the point of being with the BJP? He has surely quit on his own.”