Excited to join Mamata’s party, says ex-BJP MP Babul Supriyo

Just two months ago, Supriyo had posted on his official Facebook page, 'Goodbye'.

Supriyo was warmly welcomed by TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee and Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien.

Former BJP MP Babul Supriyo is back in politics, and in the Trinamool Congress fold.

The Asansol MP on Saturday joined Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress in the presence of TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee and Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien, who welcomed him warmly.

Shortly after joining the TMC, former Union minister and BJP MP Babul Supriyo, who has long been a critic of the TMC, on Saturday said he is extremely excited to be a part of the Mamata Banerjee-led party and will work hard for the development of West Bengal.

Asked if he would quit as BJP MP from Asansol, Supriyo said he will follow the rulebook.

“When I had said two months ago, that I want to quit politics, I was serious about it. After getting this new opportunity, however, I decided to change my mind. I am very excited about joining the TMC. I will work for the development of Bengal,” he said.

The Indian Express reported that Supriyo said in a phone interview: “It was an unexpected move. I was surprised when my good friend Derek O’ Brien asked me if I would join the TMC. I can just say I responded to a good opportunity. It was important for me.”

He further said that “I spoke to Abhishek and I spoke to Didi… To other people it might look like opportunism, but to me it’s a great opportunity and I responded to it. I want to be in a team to play, I don’t waste time sitting on the bench. It’s true that I left politics, but sometimes, poetic justice happens…”

On his earlier criticism of Mamata, the former BJP MP said: “I seriously fought with them politically. But there’s a lot of love and warmth I felt in Trinamool when they welcomed me.”

Supriyo also said he would meet West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday.

“I am grateful to Abhishek Banerjee, (TMC national general secretary) and Mamata Banerjee for giving me an opportunity to work for the state. I will follow the rulebook; there is no point in holding on to the Asansol seat when I have joined the TMC,” he added.

Last month, Supriyo had announced that he was quitting politics. He was later persuaded against resigning as a Lok Sabha member even as the singer-turned-politician insisted that he would no longer be part of active politics.

The official Twitter handle of the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) tweeted: “National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee and Rajya Sabha 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!”

Just two months ago, Supriyo had posted on his official Facebook page: “Goodbye. I’m not going to any political party. TMC, Congress, CPM nobody has called me, I’m not going anywhere…One need not be in politics to do social work.” He later edited his post and removed “not going anywhere”.

Supriyo had joined the BJP in 2014, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections that year and got elected from Asansol, which he won again in 2019.

The singer-turned-politician was removed from his position as Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change during a cabinet reshuffle on July 7.