India would have won World Cup if final happened in Kolkata or Mumbai: Mamata
Kolkata, Nov 23 (PTI) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed that India would have won the World Cup if the final was held in a stadium in Kolkata or Mumbai, while accusing the BJP-led central government of attempting to 'saffronise' the national cricket team.
Without naming anyone, the Trinamool Congress supremo also claimed that India won all the matches in the World Cup, 'except the one attended by sinners'.
Addressing party workers in Kolkata, Banerjee alleged that the BJP introduced saffron colour not only in the practice jerseys of the cricket team but also considered incorporating it into the official jerseys.
She said, 'They are trying to paint the entire country saffron. We are proud of our Indian players, and I believe that we would have won the World Cup if the finals had taken place in Kolkata or Wankhede (in Mumbai).' India lost to Australia in the World Cup final held at Ahmedabad.
'They even tried to saffronise the team by introducing saffron practice jerseys. The players resisted, and as a result, they did not have to wear those jerseys during the matches,' Banerjee added.
The TMC boss said that wherever sinners go, they take along their sins.
'The Indian team played so well that they won all the matches in the World Cup, except the one attended by sinners,' she said, without naming anyone.
The TMC boss said the colour of saffron is for 'saints and those who sacrifice' but not for those who are greedy.
Banerjee's remark drew sharp reactions from the BJP, which dubbed the allegations as a 'reflection of the mindset.' 'After a few days, she might question why our national flag has saffron colour in it. Such remarks only reflect the mindset of the TMC leadership. We condemn such remarks,' BJP state spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said.
Earlier, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, in a poll speech in Rajasthan, had used the 'panauti' barb against Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he had attended the World Cup final which India lost to Australia after 10 consecutive wins in the tournament.
A Hindi slang, 'panauti' loosely refers to someone who brings bad luck.
The BJP has demanded action by the Election Commission against Gandhi for his comment. PTI PNT NN
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