Politics is not the only game West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee excels at, and she proved it during a visit to Bolpur in Birbhum district on Thursday night. A video posted by the Trinamool Congress leader on Twitter showed the 63-year-old shawl-clad politician matching her opponents smash to smash in a hearty game of badminton at a government guest house.
The video, which came with the caption 'We love sports. A token game in a village', has Ms Banerjee engaging in an admirably long rally in a doubles game with three other players. Unfortunately, she is seen missing an underarm backhand stroke at the end.
The game of badminton must have come as a welcome distraction for the West Bengal chief minister, who is doing her best to prevent the BJP from making inroads into the state. With the opposition party's Rath Yatras stuck in legal tangles, it now plans to hold two to three rallies headlined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi through January and February. However, the Trinamool Congress -- which turned 21 two days ago -- doesn't seem perturbed. It has already announced its intention to make a mark in Delhi this year, with Ms Banerjee as the prime ministerial candidate for the 2019 polls.
The party is now working overtime to make its January 19 rally at Kolkata's Brigade Parade Ground a grand success. Many opposition leaders are expected to join the Mahagathbandhan against the BJP.
Incidentally, the veteran politician's talents do not end with sports. She is an avid painter, and even the twin flowers or joraphool -- her party's symbol -- is said to have come from one of her artworks. Last year, she sketched an image of Goddess Durga while inaugurating a puja pandal in South Kolkata.