Chief minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee is seen holding the trophy with KKR team owner Shah Rukh Khan while celebrating KKR's IPL, season 5 victory. West Bengal government and Bengal Cricket Associan jointly felicated the team in front of state secretariat ( Writers' Building ). Ashok Nath Dey / Hindustan Times.
Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner Shah Rukh Khan, also the state's brand ambassador, on Tuesday said there was "nothing wrong" in the grand felicitation organised by the state government for his IPL-5 winning team.
As chief minister Mamata Banerjee organised the fete involving Governor M K Narayanan and spent lavishly on the champions KKR side by giving them golden lockets, many ridiculed the move as it had been organised for a club team.
The team members were also showered with gifts from the hosts Cricket Association of Bengal who gifted the 17 members with 10-gram gold chain each including mememtos.
Shah Rukh, however, stood by Banerjee and said there was nothing wrong in it.
"There is no harm in being happy and sharing happiness. Nobody should criticise it. It's alright to be happy.
"Let's not be political. It has been done because we all are happy. There is nothing wrong if we bring a bit of happiness to the city of joy," he said.
Shah Rukh said their celebrations were befitting as they had waited long for the moment.
"It is a humble moment, I must say. For the last four seasons, all the KKR players and our families were moving with a desire to win the cup.
"We had all come from different states - some had come from Mumbai, Gujarat, Delhi - and made this city our home. So we wanted to win the hearts of the Kolkatans. Today, I felt that I had won the heart of Kolkata," the actor said.
Even Governor Narayanan joined in the celebrations and said, "Today is the true 'paribartan' (change) that the chief minister had ushered in last year."
The city had come to standstill in the morning as all the roads led to the Eden Gardens where the team's victory parade beginning from Hazra had culminated via a stop over at the Writer's Building.
About one lakh came on streets to cheer for the team as the 67,000 capacity wore a jam-packed look during the one-hour celebration that was no smaller than India's World Cup victory lap at the Wankhede last year.
With capacity crowd inside the gates had to be closed as about 30,000 had to wait outside as the programme ended with chaos and mayhem with several injured in the mob-like atmosphere.
Knight Riders tasted first success in five outings when they defeated Chennai Super Kings by five wickets in the IPL summit clash on May 27 to be crowned IPL 5 champions.