In a bid to promote football in India, Trinamool Howrah MP Prasun Banerjee, on Thursday was spotted playing football near the Gandhi Statue inside the Parliament premises in the New Delhi.
The video viewed on ANI shows the Arjuna Awardee dribbling a football while bystanders watch the retired international footballer in action.
Speaking to ANI, Banerjee has assured that India will one day play for the World Cup and the Prime Minister himself will support this saying 'Less politics, more Football.'
"I believe that the Indian team will one day play the (Football) World Cup. We are working hard to achieve this. Everyone will support this. Prime Minister himself will say 'Less politics, more Football.' I challenge that India will reach great heights in football and play for the World Cup. Play Football," said Banerjee.
The first national-level footballer to get elected to the Lok Sabha, Prasun Banerjee was sworn in in 2013 from Howrah and then re-elected in 2014. He was a part of the India national football team in international tournaments and played at the Asian Games (3 times) in 1974,1978 and 1982 and the Asian Youth Football Tournament (4 times) in 1974, 1978,1981. He has also represented India in many international tournaments like Merdeka Football Tournament, President Cup and Friendship Tour Kenya and Zambia. As a captain, he has led India at the Friendship Tour U.A.E and Bahrain.
Banerjee was included in the All Time Best-XI team of Mohun Bagan Club as a Central Defensive Midfielder, being only the second Indian to achieve the feat. he was awarded the Arjuna Award in 1979 for his contribution to Indian football.
Earlier in the day, the same site had witnessed a protest by Congress leaders including Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Anand Sharma against the failing JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka and the sudden merger of Goa Congress Legislative Party (CLP) with BJP. Speaking to news agency ANI Rahul Gandhi said, "We are protesting against Karnataka and Goa issue."