Supriyo joins TMC weeks after 'quitting politics'

National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee with former Union Minister and sitting MP Babul Supriyo after the latter joined the Trinamool Congress in Kolkata on Saturday
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National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee with former Union Minister and sitting MP Babul Supriyo after the latter joined the Trinamool Congress in Kolkata on Saturday

Highlights

Blowing hot and cold for several weeks after being dropped from the Modi government, BJP MP Babul Supriyo sprang a surprise on Saturday when he joined West Bengal's ruling TMC and asserted he will work for the development of the state.

Kolkata : Blowing hot and cold for several weeks after being dropped from the Modi government, BJP MP Babul Supriyo sprang a surprise on Saturday when he joined West Bengal's ruling TMC and asserted he will work for the development of the state. Supriyo, a two-term MP from Asansol, had earlier declared he will quit politics, before being persuaded by the BJP leadership to continue as a Lok Sabha member.

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.

"Today, in the presence of National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee and RS MP Derek O'Brien, former Union Minister and sitting MP Babul Supriyo joined the Trinamool family. We take this opportunity to extend a very warm welcome to him!," the TMC tweeted.

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.

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.

With Saturday's development, Supriyo has joined a virtual parade of BJP leaders and lawmakers to the TMC since the saffron party's defeat in the assembly polls. Before him, four MLAs, including BJP vice president Mukul Roy, had joined the TMC.

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