One football club, two teams! Trinamool & BJP-backed outfits clash in Bengal, many injured

Shubham Ghosh

Kolkata, Nov 19: It is often said that in West Bengal, nothing divides more than politics. Starting since the days of the now-toppled Left Front, politics has entered the drawing rooms and bed rooms of households to leave a sinister impact. The Left is history but its legacy has carried on. The new players in the state's politics - the new ruler and its main Opposition - the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and BJP, respectively - have now mastered the art of politicising.

According to a recent report in Bengali daily Ananda Bazar Patrika, a club took part in a football tournament in Jangalmahal area in south-western part of the state which is known for its Maoist influence, but on the day of the match, two teams from the same club arrived at the venue! The difference between the two teams is that while one was supported by the local TMC members, the other had the support of the BJP members. With both teams intending to play and the matter taking a worse turn, the police stopped both the outfits from playing but later members of the two teams engaged in fight which resulted in injury to many. The incident happened on Saturday (November 17) in Baghasti in Keshiari in West Midnapore district of Bengal.

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The report said that earlier, the TMC used to be the most influential player in Baghasti village panchayat. The local club was also under its control. However, things changed after the BJP did well in Jangalmahal area in this year's panchayat election. With the growing political polarisation, the club's members have also got divided into supporters of the two political parties.

On Saturday, both teams of the same club arrived the venue and claimed that they are the actual representatives of the club. They started arguments at the field at which the police asked them to refrain but when they did not listen, both the teams were barred from playing in the game.

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When the TMC-supported team returned, the members saw their club house locked. Then when the BJP-backed team also returned, the two sides got involved in a blame game and the matter soon snowballed into a physical fight in which quite a few members got engaged and were admitted in hospitals in Midnapore and Kolkata, the ABP report added.

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