Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy on Tuesday kicked up a controversy when he asked supporters of East Bengal football club if they have ever wondered why they are with that club while being in West Bengal. After being criticised on Twitter for this remark, mainly by supporters of East Bengal which turns 100 on Thursday, he posted another tweet as a clarification saying what he meant was people were driven out of East Bengal (now Bangladesh) "because of our religion".
"East Bengal Athletic Club (basically soccer) is celebrating its centenary. Has it struck its office-bearers or any of its supporters why they are supporting East Bengal while sitting in West Bengal?" Roy said on his official Twitter handle.
Later, in another tweet, he said, "Abuses pouring in, basically due to lack of understanding. Many of us have forgotten our East Bengali roots, but support the club of that name. The fact that I support East Bengal while sitting in West Bengal shd constantly remind me that we were driven out because of our religion."
Roy, who describes himself as a "Right-wing Hindu socio-political thinker, writer, ideologue" on his Twitter handle, also issued a Bengali version of the posts.
However, even after the clarification, a number of netizens criticised Roy claiming that he has insulted the club which they consider to be their "mother".
Several others also advised him not to mix politics with sports.
Efforts to reach East Bengal club officials for their comments did not fructify.
East Bengal Football Club was established on August 1, 1920 as a sports and cultural association of people who primarily hailed from the eastern provinces of Bengal before partition.
Known for posting controversial messages, Roy's appeal to people to "boycott everything Kashmiri" following the February 14 terror attack on a CRPF convoy in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama had also created a furore.
He had also triggered a storm last month by claiming that Bengali boys sweep the floors of houses across the country these days and Bengali girls dance in Mumbai's bars.