Kolkata: Former Union Minister Babul Supriyo joined Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress, two months after he was asked to resign as junior minister in the Environment Ministry and a month after saying he won't join any other party and would quit politics. Later, he amended his plans and said he would remain a Member of Parliament.
"If opportunity comes your way, you should decide, and I have decided to take this," Supriyo told reporters. He was listed as the BJP's star campaigner for the Bhabanipur bypoll, where the BJP's Priyanka Tibrewal will contest against Mamata on September 30.
Supriyo is the fifth BJP leader - the four others were BJP MLAs - to join Trinamool Congress after Mamata's party won the assembly election in May and retained power. Trinamool leader Kunal Ghosh said more BJP leaders are in talks to join the party. "Many BJP leaders are in communication with Trinamool leadership. They are not satisfied with BJP. One (Mr Supriyo) joined today, another wants to join tomorrow. This process will go on. Wait and watch," Ghosh said.
Supriyo was seen to be upset after he was made to quit as Union Minister in the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who reshuffled the cabinet by appointing 43 new names in July. "I'm surely sad for myself," Supriyo had tweeted on July 8, the day he resigned as Union Minister, and later deleted the post to replace with a new one that said he was "extremely happy" that he left the stint "without a spot of corruption on me".
His departure not a loss: Suvendu
BJP leader and leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari said Supriyo`s departure did not cause any loss to the BJP since he is not politically significant. Suvendu said, "This is his personal decision. Babul ji should immediately resign from membership of Parliament. Before leaving, he should have informed the BJP. BJP has not suffered any loss due to his departure. He is not a mass leader. Supriyo is also not even a good political organizer. He does not have political significance. I did not get a chance to work with him for a long time. But personally, he is a good friend." "He had the issue of status and ministership. I had been a cabinet minister in the state government and held three big positions. But I left everything and joined BJP on ethical and ideological ground. Supriyo had been only a Minister of State. He was a minister for seven years. Not a single booth president will go after him. He has no political impact," he added.