Former BJP minister joins Trinamul Congress weeks after “quitting politics” remarks

Former BJP minister joins Trinamul Congress weeks after “quitting politics” remarks

Hummingbird News Desk

KOLKATA, 18 SEP: Former Union minister and two-time BJP MP from Asansole, Babul Supriyo on Saturday joined the Trinamul Congress in Kolkata.

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The singer-turned-politician joined the TMC in the presence of party general secretary Abhishek Banerjee and Rajya Sabha MP and spokesperson Derek O’Brien.

Supriyo, in the first week of August, had said that he would continue to work constitutionally (as MP) in West Bengal’s Asansol even after quitting politics.

 “I meant it from my heart when I said I will leave politics. However, I felt there was a huge opportunity that was entrusted upon me (on joining TMC). All my friends said my decision to leave politics was wrong and emotional,” the MP said.

“I am very proud that I am changing my decision. I am coming back for a great opportunity to serve Bengal. I am very excited. I will meet didi (CM Mamata Banerjee) on Monday. I am overwhelmed by the warm welcome,” he added.

On 31 July, Babul announced that he had quit politics and would also resign as MP. In a Facebook post, he said that there was a difference of opinion between him and the state BJP leaders and that the difference of opinion among senior leaders was “harming the party”.

Unlike many in a regimented party like the BJP, Supriyo had openly voiced his displeasure over being dropped from the Union government during its long-awaited reshuffle in July which incidentally came in the wake of his defeat in Tollygunge in the March-April West Bengal assembly polls.

Speculation is now rife about the possibility of Supriyo being fielded for the Rajya Sabha seat recently vacated by TMC member Arpita Ghosh, who said she had resigned as she wanted to work for the party organisation.

Addressing a press conference which lasted barely 10 minutes, Supriyo said he is excited about joining the TMC and will work for the development of West Bengal.

“When I had said two months back that I want to quit politics, I was serious about it. This new development took place in the last three-four days. So, after I got this opportunity, I decided to change my mind,” he told reporters with O’Brien seated beside him.

“I am very excited about joining the TMC. I will work for the development of Bengal,” he said.

“Of course, naturally. I will go by the rulebook,” he said when asked if he will resign from the Lok Sabha.

Supriyo said he will meet West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee on Monday.

“I am grateful to Abhishek Banerjee and Mamata Banerjee for giving me a big opportunity to work for the state and serve the people,” he said.

Days after being dropped from the ministry, Supriyo had said the development had some role in his decision to quit politics but made it clear he was not joining any other party.

“Have listened to what my father, wife, daughter and a few close friends had to say. After listening to everything, I am saying that I am not going to any other party. I am confirming that I am not joining the Congress, not the CPM. Neither they have called me, nor I am going. I am a one-team player. Have always supported Mohun Bagan.. have done only party BJP West Bengal.. That’s it!” the former minister wrote in a social media post.

Reacting to Supriyo joining the TMC, BJP state spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya said his decision to jump ship proves he is an “opportunist”.

“It only proves that he was with the party only for the post of a central minister. As he was dropped from the ministry, he switched camps. But let me make this clear that in 2024 a BJP candidate will win the Asansol Lok Sabha seat,” he said.

State Congress president Adhir Chowdhury said the development proves both the TMC and the BJP follow the politics of poaching leaders of other parties.

Welcoming Supriyo into the party, state TMC general secretary Kunal Ghosh said the development proves that the BJP is a sinking ship in Bengal.

“It proves BJP is a sinking ship in Bengal. Supriyo was not happy with the party’s functioning and decided to quit the saffron camp,” he said.

Tags: #BabulSupriyo #BJP #TMC

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