Days after getting dropped from central cabinet, Babul Supriyo to say ‘alvida’ to politics

Kolkata: Days after he was dropped in the central cabinet reshuffle, former Union Minister and BJP leader Babul Supriyo said on Saturday that he has decided to quit politics and will be resigning as an MP.

He hinted the decision was partly due to losing the ministerial berth and also differences with the state BJP leadership.

Supriyo (50), who had held several portfolios as MOS in the Narendra Modi government since 2014, was removed earlier this month in a major cabinet rejig.

“Leaving, Goodbye. I spoke to my parents, wife, friends, and after listening to the advice, I am saying that I am leaving. I am not going to any other party – TMC, Congress, CPIM, nowhere. I am confirming that nobody has called me.

“I am going nowhere. I am a one-team player! I have always supported one team, #MohunBagan – Have been with only one party – BJP West Bengal. That’s it!! Leaving,” Supriyo said in a Facebook post.

“I have stayed for too long I have helped somebody, have disappointed someone…it is for the people to decide. If you want to do social work, you can do it without being in politics. Yes, I am resigning from the post of MP,” his post read.

The singer-turned politician also said he will vacate his government accommodation within a month.

As part of a major rejig, the two-time MP from Asansol was among the several ministers who were dropped from the union cabinet on July 7. He unsuccessfully contested assembly polls against Trinamool Congress Aroop Biswas in the last assembly elections.

Both Supriyo and Debasree Chaudhuri, MPs from Bengal, were dropped as ministers. Four other MPs from West Bengal Nishit Pramanik, Santanu Thakur, Subhas Sarkar and John Barla were inducted as MOS in the ministry.

“But, I have to answer a question because it’s pertinent! The question is, why I left politics? Does it have anything to do with leaving the ministry? Yes, there is – there must be something! I don’t want to pretend. So it would be right on my part to answer the questions, and it will give me peace too,” he wrote.

Without naming anyone, Supriyo said differences with the state leadership was not helping the matters either and was sending a wrong message to the rank and file of the party.

“Ahead of the elections, there were disagreements with the state leadership on some issues – but some matters were coming out in public. Somewhere I am responsible for that (I posted a Facebook post which tantamounts to breaking party discipline), and somewhere else, other leaders are also very much responsible, although I don’t want to go into the details about who is responsible for this,” he said.

“But the party was losing ground due to those disagreements and quarrels among the senior leaders; we don’t need knowledge of ‘rocket science’ to understand that it was not helping the morale of the party workers in any way. At the moment it is completely unwelcome, so I am leaving with immense gratitude and love to the people of Asansol,” he said.

The former union minister made a big difference in Bengal BJP between 2014, when he joined the party and 2019 and when the party won 18 Lok Sabha seats.

“I was the only BJP leader who had won on a party ticket on its own back then (in 2014 Ahluwalia- where the party had won as a GJM ally from the Darjeeling seat), but today BJP is the main opposition party in Bengal. There are many new bright young leaders in the party today as well as many experienced leaders.

“The team led by them will go a long way from here. I have no hesitation in saying that it is clear that it is not a big deal to have an individual in the party today and to accept that fact would be the right decision,” he said.

Supriyo thanked the BJP top brass- Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president J P Nadda for “their love and affection” towards him and clarified that his move wasn’t aimed at “bargaining”.

“For last few days, whenever I had told them about my decision, they had tried to convince me not to leave. So If I keep on going to them with the same plea, they might think I’m ‘bargaining’ for a ‘position’, which is not at all the case. I pray they don’t misunderstand me and should forgive me,” he wrote.

State BJP president Dilip Ghosh declined to comment on it.

“There are people who come and go. I am not aware that he has resigned from the party or as an MP. I don’t follow Facebook or Twitter posts, so I can’t comment on it,” he said.

However, the TMC 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,” TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh said.

After being dropped from the ministry, Supriyo and Dilip Ghosh engaged in a war of words with the central leadership which took steps to calm the warring leaders.

Supriyo’s debuted in politics as a BJP candidate from Asansol in 2014 general election. He went on to win the seat twice in 2014 as well as in 2019.

He was inducted in Modi’s cabinet in 2014 as MOS.