A formal induction ceremony took place in Goa in the presence of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Tennis Player Leander Paes with Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee while joining Trinamool Congress in Goa PC/PTI
news Politics Friday, October 29, 2021 - 16:01
Written by  IANS

Indian tennis ace and Olympic medal winner Leander Paes joined the Trinamool Congress in a formal induction ceremony in Goa in the presence of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday, October 29. The West Bengal CM was in Goa on a three-day visit. 

After the induction ceremony, Leander Paes told reporters, "I now live in Goa as well. So my home is here. I was born in Bengal, but at the end of the day, I am a very patriotic Indian. For me, whether it is in Bengal or whether it is in Goa, or whether it is playing at Wimbledon. For me it is about doing India proud and in that, now living in Goa I would like to make a difference in my roots.”

He, however, did not take a question from the media as to whether he would be contesting in the 2022 state Assembly polls in Goa. Though born in Kolkata, Paes' father, Vece, is of Goan origin.

The tennis star said that the West Bengal CM had backed his career in tennis right from when his father and he had approached her for support when she was the country's Sports Minister and he was a 14-year-old "embarking to be a tennis player for our country".

"For me, it is about democracy, it is not about colour, religion, or culture or caste. For me, it is a democratic country. For me, it is the largest and fastest-growing democratic country in the world and I would like to be a part of it and make a difference as I can," he also said.

Commenting on Paes' induction, Mamata Banerjee said: "I am very happy to announce that Leander Paes (is joining the party), he is just like my younger brother. I have known him since I was the Sports Minister of India".

The induction of the high-profile sportsman comes at a time when the Trinamool Congress is gearing up to contest for the 40 Assembly seats in Goa during the 2022 polls and has inducted several local leaders into their party.