Kolkata trooped out to honour Kolkata Knight Riders' victory in IPL5 but the show at Eden Gardens on Tuesday was taken over by chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee with Kolkata Knight Riders' owner Shahrukh Khan and team players during a ceremony to felicitate the team in Kolkata on Tuesday. PTI Photo by Ashok Bhaumik
Banerjee felicitated the team players, sang the team song, directed the crowd, gave a speech lamenting her state's financial
condition and snapped at mediapersons for "not behaving".
She even volunteered to take part in the team's victory lap at the stadium. "I am going to start the run, I'm getting on to the field now. No music please," she said holding a mike as hundreds of people at the stadium cheered on.
She ordered that only the team would run around the ground and everyone else should sit down. She shouted at people to sit dow and snapped at camerapersons not to block KKR players.
KKR team co-owner Shah Rukh Khan requested Banerjee to dance but the CM politely refused. That was a relief, said people on Twitter where the chief minister was criticised and mocked for Eden Gardens "show".
"Mamata Di and Kolkata are doing the same for stand up comedians, what Laloo and Bihar did in the '90s," said @SnowLeopard.
"Has anyone noticed how the only Bengali on the KKR team is Mamata and she's forced herself into the picture?" said @lindsaypereira.
"Mamata is dancing with SRK over IPL win. Doesn't she have anything better to do than make a big deal about a corporate venture?" said @amrankapdi
"Finally, the joke is over #Eden Gardens. Can any other city clown like this?" said @diptosh.
@SachinKalbag: RT @over_rated: "Just saw the live broadcast from Calcutta. Now having second thoughts about democracy." - Aung San Suu Kyi
More than 50,000 people lined up on both sides of the road from Hamza at South Kolkata to the Eden Gardens for the victory procession organised for KKR.
Frenzied scenes were seen all along the 5-km stretch as the KKR players celebrated the victory on an open bus top with the fans making desperate attempts to touch them.
Thousands of fans gathered at the Jatin Das Park crossing at Hazra, from where the parade began, with people throwing bouquets at the players. But with the team co-owner Shah Rukh Khan, who landed at the city late last night, missing there was some visible disappointment among the crowd.
Later, there was chaos outside the Eden Gardens after an hour-long felicitation function of the IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders when a large crowd broke barricades and engaged in scuffles with the police in a bid to enter the grounds today.
Nearly 30,000 people were waiting outside the Eden Gardens as they were not allowed entry into the grounds which were already packed to capacity.
As the surging crowd made a determined bid to have a glimpse of the KKR team as well as its co-owners Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla, chaos followed and several persons suffered injuries in the melee.
The area was littered with shoes and other foot wears as the police made way for the KKR team members, Shah Rukh Khan and Tollywood actors for their departure.
West Bengal Governor MK Narayanan, chief minister Mamata Banerjee, some of her cabinet colleagues and Railway Minister Mukul Roy were present at the felicitation progarmme, organised jointly by the state government and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation.
When contacted, the police denied that there was any lathicharge or any injury outside the stadium.
(With inputs from PTI)