KOLKATA 18 SEPT: On the eve of the Bhowanipore by-election, the BJP suffered a severe jolt when former two-time Union minister Babul Supriyo joined Trinamool Congress on Saturday at Trinamool Bhavan. Following the reshuffle in the Union cabinet in which Supriyo lost his ministership two months back, the Asansol MP announced on Twitter that he would quit his membership of Lok Sabha and politics altogether.
On 31 August, he mentioned that he was quitting politics and not joining any other party in his Twitter profile. The next day he deleted a part of his post where he had mentioned that he was not joining any party.
On Saturday, Supriyo said, “I was planning to quit politics. But four days back, I got a good offer from TMC, and so I joined TMC. I was an MP for the past seven years, and I was not recognized for how I dedicated myself to the BJP party. I was planning to meet chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday. There is no politics of revenge.”
According to Supriyo, he thanked TMC for allowing him to work for the people of Bengal. He knew that he would face a lot of criticism, but he also mentioned that he was ready to face the consequences.
Sources in the TMC said that Supriyo, a BJP MP from Asansol, is likely to be sent to Rajya Sabha.
A few days back, Arpita Ghosh, a former TMC MP in Rajya Sabha, had stepped down two days ago, stating that she wanted to workfor the party in the state. Ghosh was sent to Rajya Sabha a year back despite his loss in Lok Sabha polls.
Supriyo was one of the two BJP MPs to have won from Bengal in 2014 and who won from the Asansol seat in 2019. His name was also featured on the BJP’s list of star campaigners for the upcoming by-polls. He was scheduled to campaign for BJP candidate Priyanka Tibrewal in the forthcoming Assembly election.
Even Supriyo had tweeted a few days back in support of Tibrewal, who he said had represented him in several legal cases.
What BJP said
According to senior BJP leaders, Babul’s exit won’t affect the party’s prospects in Bengal. Babul Supriyo was inactive in BJP.
Dilip Ghosh, BJP state president, said, “Babul joined TMC as he wanted a post, and that is why left BJP. He cannot handle losing a ministerial berth, and that is why he joined TMC.”
Sources in the state BJP said that Supriyo was disgruntled with the work of the state BJP. Both Ghosh and Babul Supriyo have been at loggerheads with each other for a very long time now, and Supriyo was against Bengal BJP‘s decision to induct turncoats into the BJP, especially in Asansol.