Singer-turned-politician Babul Supriyo announced his decision to quit active politics through a long Facebook post on Saturday afternoon.
The two-time Lok Sabha MP from Asansol ascribed his decision to his being dropped from the Union Council of Ministers earlier this month. Babul Supriyo, 51, who was the Minister of State for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, also announced that he will be resigning from the Lok Sabha.
The playback singer who quit a cushy job in a multinational bank in 1992 to try his luck in the Hindi film industry, said he had been communicating his desire to quit politics to Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president J.P.Nadda.
“I will forever remain grateful to them (Shah and Nadda) for encouraging me to stay in politics everytime I went to them with my decision to quit. I did not want to go to them again and tell them that I have finally decided to quit politics. I had taken this decision quite a few days ago and had I gone to them again to tell them about my decision, they may have misconstrued it as an attempt on my part to bargain for some post. So, since I do not want them to harbour any such doubts, I am announcing this decision here,” wrote Babul Supriyo.
Babul Supriyo revealed that for quite some time before the Assembly elections in the state, differences had cropped up between him and the state party leadership. He admitted that news of these differences became public due to mistakes on his part (he spoke about that in an earlier facebook post) and also on the part of some other state leaders. “News of such differences between senior leaders had affected the morale of party workers,” said Babul Supriyo.
Babul Supriyo said that the BJP in Bengal has become strong and is today the main opposition party. The party has many bright young leaders as well as experienced leaders. He said that the party will move ahead under their collective leadership. “As such, it doesn’t matter if one individual stays in the party or not,” he wrote.
The former Union minister recalled his chance conversation on a flight where he was seated next to Baba Ramdev that led him to join politics. “I was told by Baba Ramdevji that the BJP was seriously invested in Bengal and would fight the (2014 Lok Sabha) polls to the best of its ability, but was not hopeful of winning any seats in the state. I wondered why Bengal would not give even one seat to the BJP when the rest of the country had already decided to make Narendra Modi the next Prime Minister of India. I decided to take the plunge then and there and did not get fazed by uncertainty. I followed my mind and my heart, and I’m doing so again today,” he wrote.
Babul Supriyo was fielded by the BJP from Asansol in 2014 and he won by defeating Trinamool heavyweight Dola Sen by more than 70,000 votes. He was one of the two BJP MPs from the state then--M.S.Ahluwalia was the other, but Ahluwalia had won the Darjeeling seat with the support of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.
Babul Supriyo was reinducted into the Union council of ministers in November 2014 as minister of state (MoS) for urban development and housing. He later became the MoS for heavy industries and public enterprises.
Babul Supriyo was re-elected the Asansol seat in 2019 by defeating veteran actor Moon Moon Sen (fielded by the Trinamool) by more than 1.97 lakh votes. In May 2019, he became Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change before he was dropped in recent ministerial reshuffle.
Babul Supriyo poured his heart out in his facebook post. He said he may have hurt some people, made others happy, some people may have been satisfied with his work while others may have been disappointed. “I’ll leave it to you all to evaluate my work,” he wrote.
He ended his post with a youtube link to famous Bengali singer Hemanta Mukhopadhyay’s Ek gochha rajanigandha hatey diye bollam, chollam chollam… (I’m signing off by giving you a bouquet of tuberoses..)
Within a couple of hours, the facebook post got nearly two lakh comments, most from his admirers from all over the country expressing their shock over his decision and some even imploring him to reconsider his decision.
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