Babul Supriyo, the BJP MP from West Bengal who was dropped from the Union cabinet in the reshuffle, on Saturday announced he is quitting politics. In a post on his official Facebook page, Supriyo wrote, “Goodbye. I’m not going to any political party. TMC, INC, CPM nobody has called me, I’m not going anywhere…One need not be in politics to do social work.”
The singer-turned politician also said he was resigning as a Member of Parliament and would vacate his government allotted residence within a month. He was recently dropped as union minister of state for environment as part of the Modi government’s cabinet reshuffle.
Supriyo had confirmed his resignation through a post on social media, “I have been asked to resign and I have.” However, soon as an afterthought, he edited his post and said “I have resigned from the council of ministers.”
Babul Supriyo then went on to add, what appeared a sarcastic comment: “As I had framed it earlier, “Asked to resign” may not be the right way to put it.”
While he did not take any names, Supriyo did say there is a clash among the senior leadership of the party in the state, which is demoralising the workers.
“I would like to say there was a lot of contradiction between me and the party leadership that started way before the elections. I thought that was normal but those incidents were often being brought to the fore. For that, some leaders were as much responsible as myself (sic) as I too had shared a post on social media which can be seen as an act of breaching party discipline,” said Supriyo.
“However, it was clear that clash of opinions among the senior leadership was not only harmful to the party but was enough to break the confidence of ground-zero workers. This was unwanted.,” he further said.
While bringing up his win in 2014, Supriyo said a lot had changed for the BJP in the state since then.
“The scenario in Bengal in 2014 was quite different from that of 2019. With all due respect to SS Ahluwalia, with GJM being BJP’s ally in Darjeeling back then, I have to say that I was the only one on a BJP ticket. But today BJP is the main opposition party in Bengal. The party today has both young and experienced members, who can help the party go a long way. Nevertheless, it has been made clear that an absence of a particular face from the party won’t make a lot of difference today. And I believe I’m making the right choice by accepting this fact,” said Supriyo.
Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress leadership mocked the BJP unit for failing to take everybody along and termed Supriyo’s social media post as a “drama”.
“Babul Supriyo is doing drama as he has been dropped from the ministry. If he was so keen on resigning, then he should have sent his resignation to the Lok Sabha speaker. Instead, he is indulging in those tricks. But, this incident has also brought into fore the internal squabbling in the BJP,” Trinamool Congress state general secretary Kunal Ghosh said.
Supriyo joined the BJP in 2014, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections and got elected from West Bengal’s Asansol constituency. He won again from Asansol in 2019.
He was made the minister of state in the urban development ministry and later was MoS, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, during the Modi government’s first term.
Supriyo contested from the Tollygunge assembly constituency in the recently held assembly elections in West Bengal but lost to Trinamool Congress candidate Aroop Biswas by a margin of 49,427 votes.