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Thanks to Mamata-Abhishek for Keeping Me in 'Playing 11': Babul Supriyo

Babul Supriyo also mentioned that he would be resigning as an MP and sought an appointment with the Speaker.

Published
Politics
3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Kolkata: Former Union Minister and sitting MP Babul Supriyo joined the Trinamool family today in the presence of National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee and Rajya Sabha MP Derek O Brien.</p></div>
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A day after former Union minister Babul Supriyo joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC), the leader addressed a press conference in Kolkata on Sunday, 19 September, and thanked Mamata Banerjee and the TMC for giving him a chance in the 'playing 11'.

"I thank Mamata didi, Abhishek Banerjee, and TMC for giving me a chance in the 'playing 11'. I am aware of trolling on social media. I've been engaged in politics for the last seven years. I felt it was a good opportunity (on joining TMC) for public welfare," Supriyo said, according to news agency ANI.

The two-time Asansol MP and former Union Minister of State said that he would go to the Rajya Sabha in place of Arpita Ghosh, Babul said, "I have been very disciplined and I will not break the rule of the party. Like, after leaving BJP, I cannot stay as an MP. I shall go to Delhi on Wednesday and if the Speaker gives me time, I shall resign".

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"Similarly, in Trinamool Congress it is the sole prerogative of Mamata Banerjee to decide and announce the responsibility that will be entrusted to me. I cannot say that. I can only do one thing - There was an offer that I couldn't refuse," Supriyo added.

Making it clear that he was well aware of the criticism that was meant for him from the BJP leadership, the well-known singer said, "I am not against criticism. It is a challenging job and I took the challenge knowing that there will be brickbats against me. Only I expect that the people would be careful about the language. One will have to respect the decision and then only he can disagree."

When asked about the 'Jhal-Muri' deal alleged by BJP leader Anupam Hazra, Supriyo said, "I was a minister then and we all went to Netaji Indoor Stadium where Prime Minister Narednra Modi was also present. After Modi went, the Chief Minister asked me to come with her. I also had some discussions regarding some projects. When we were near Victoria Memorial, she offered me 'Jhal-Muri'. I couldn't say 'No'. Today if a BJP minister offers 'Dhokla' I shall have it with him. This is decency I think".

Babul Supriyo Joining TMC Has No Impact on Party: Bengal BJP

Earlier during the day, the BJP West Bengal unit claimed that Supriyo's resignation had no impact on the saffron party.

West Bengal BJP leaders termed Surpiyo an 'opportunist' who joined the party before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and left soon after being dropped from the Union cabinet.

BJP West Bengal president Dilip Ghosh said, "Supriyo lost his popularity among cadre and people in his Lok Sabha constituency Asansol. He was completely missing from his constituency for over eight months. He has lost his popularity in the state and that is one of the reasons behind Supriyo losing Assembly polls five months ago."

Ghosh said that his only priority was to remain 'mantri' (minister) without working for people. "Soon after being dropped from the Union cabinet, Babul announced to quit politics. Within two days he changed his mind and said he will remain an MP to serve the people of Asansol. Yesterday, he joined TMC. His only agenda is to get a position not service," Ghosh said.

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BJP leader Swapan Dasgupta, too, had a war of words with Supriyo on Twitter. Dasgupta's said that Supriyo's "defection may end up damaging his own image".

Supriyo responded on Sunday and said, "Did I create history by shifting sides? Well, all the ‘rivals’ who joined the BJP, were embraced and made to sit on top posts – while ignoring all those ‘real’ BJP grassroots fighters – should be dumped because they may have all spoiled their images (like you said I did) and tarnished BJP’s image. Right?"

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Edited By :Saundarya Talwar
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