Sporting fraternity endorses Prasun Banerjee for LS polls

Kolkata, March 29: A host of sporting icons, including the likes of legendary footballer P.K. Banerjee and hockey Olympian Gurbux Singh, Saturday extended support to former Indian football captain Prasun Banerjee, who is contesting the Lok Sabha polls on a Trinamool Congress ticket.

Prasun Banerjee, who became the first football player to make it to parliament when he won the Howrah Lok Sabha seat in a bypoll last year, is in the fray from the same constituency.

Arjuna Award winner P.K. Banerjee said he was supporting Prasun because he has the ability to work for the welfare of the people.

“I am not supporting him because he is my brother, rather because of his abilities. What he has done in seven months as an MP others can’t even match that in seven years,” said the former India captain and celebrated coach, fondly called P.K.

Olympic gold medallist Gurbux Singh said it was important for the sporting fraternity to have representation in parliament.

“Much like he played to win in his playing days, I am sure he will do the same as a politician. It is good that sporting personalities are coming to politics,” said Singh.

Others who endorsed Banerjee included Davis Cupper Akhtar Ali, chess grand master Dibyendu Barua, Asian Games medal wining athlete Soma Biswas, yesteryear’s football stars Gautam Sarkar, Bidesh Bose and Manas Bhattacharya.

Speaking on the occasion, Prasun said if elected, he will endeavour to set up a football stadium in Howrah to host I-league matches.

Earlier, a host of eminent personalities from the fields of arts and culture endorsed theatre personality and Trinamool candidate Arpita Ghosh, who is contesting from Balurghat in South Dinajpur district.