Babul Joined TMC After Ensuring RS Membership

Former Union Minister Babul Supriyo joins Trinamool Congress (TMC) in presence of Party National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee, in Kolkata on Saturday (ANI)

One may accuse them of Ayaram Gayaram politics, but Babul Supriya was quite candid about it. “If the opportunity comes your way, you should decide, and I have decided to take this,” he said after joining the endless list of leaders switching parties in Bengal in the last one year. Babul Supriya is a two-time BJP MP from Assansol and is a former minister.

Babul has joined Team Mamata two months after he was asked to resign as minister of state in the Environment Ministry. But what is the opportunity that has come to him?  According to sources, he will resign his Lok Sabha seat and not risk fighting from Asansol again. Instead, he will be given Rajya Sabha membership by his new party.

Incidentally, a present TMC Rajya Sabha MP Arpita Ghosh has recently resigned from the parliament and has been rewarded with the post of TMC general secretary. It is widely believed she was asked to resign so that Babul Supriya can be nominated from the seat.

The famous singer that Babul is, he was never associated in any way with the BJP or RSS before he joined the party. According to his own admission, before the 2014 Lok Sabha election, he sought help from Baba Ramdev to join the BJP, and it was the Baba who made things easier for him. He fought from Asansol and won. That time BJP won just two seats from Bengal and one of those seats was Asansol. The other was Darjeeling from where Surinder Singh Ahluwalia won. Both were made ministers of state.

Babul was unhappy before the assembly election when the BJP opened the floodgate for TMC men to join the Saffron Brigade, and was particularly peeved about Jitendra Tiwari, who belonged to Asansol and had left no stone unturned to hackle Babul. By a quirk of fate, the ex-Mayor of Asansol is now in the BJP and the ex-minister at the center in the TMC.

It is said that Babul was upset since he was asked to resign from the central ministry, probably on the ground of performance. “I’m surely sad for myself,” he tweeted on July 8, the day he had to resign. He later deleted the post and wrote he was “extremely happy” that he left the stint “without a spot of corruption on me”.

So far four BJP MLAs and one MP from the BJP have joined the TMC in Bengal. While the proceedings against the MLAs on the ground of defection are expected to consume years in the Bengal assembly, Babul’s case will be different as he is a member of Parliament. If he does not resign, he will be expelled sooner or later. That was why he ensured an RS ticket before switching sides.

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