Life opened a new avenue for me, thank Mamata didi for giving me big opportunity: Babul on joining TMC

  • | Sunday | 19th September, 2021

Kolkata, Sep 19 (PTI) Former Union minister and BJP MP Babul Supriyo, who switched over to West Bengal"s ruling TMC in a surprise move, on Sunday said life has now opened a new avenue for him from the prospect of being "retired hurt" from public affairs not so long ago.Supriyo also said he has nothing to prove to anybody, and he has been involved in politics from the grassroots level since becoming an MP in 2014 on a BJP ticket from Asansol."Life has opened a new avenue for me from the prospect of being retired hurt from public life… I received a lot of support from a party (TMC) with which I had a very tumultuous relationship," Supriyo said, addressing a press conference at the Trinamool Congress headquarters here.“Being retired hurt was the feeling when I had wished to leave politics. But, I changed my decision in the last four days… I thank Mamata didi (CM Mamata Banerjee) and Abhishek (Banerjee) for giving me a big opportunity. It was completely unexpected,” he said.Blowing hot and cold for several weeks after being dropped from the Narendra Modi government, the BJP MP sprang a surprise on Saturday when he joined the TMC and asserted he will work for the development of the state.Supriyo, a two-term MP from Asansol, had earlier declared he will quit politics, before being persuaded by the BJP leadership to continue as a Lok Sabha member.He will meet TMC supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday, senior party leader and MP Saugata Roy said.The singer-turned-politician said he will leave for Delhi early next week to tender his resignation to the Lok Sabha Speaker as MP from Asansol.On his prospects in the TMC, Supriyo said Banerjee will take a call about his future role in the party. Asked if the CM could become the consensus opposition candidate for the prime minister’s post in 2024, he said, "Won’t you agree she is the most popular personality in the country?" Commenting on the 2015 controversy that erupted after he shared "jhalmuri" - a popular Bengali snack made of puffed rice - with Banerjee on way to Raj Bhavan in a car after a programme, Supriyo said he had discussed with the chief minister some important projects in his constituency. “As I was waiting for my car after a programme of the prime minister, Didi saw me while she was leaving and offered a lift. I agreed as I had to talk about key projects in my constituency. And, when she offered me jhalmuri, I accepted the delicacy. Where is the harm in it?" he said.Admitting his displeasure at being dropped from the Union government during its long-awaited reshuffle in July, he said, "I always prefer to be in the playing XI." The reshuffle had come close on the heels of Supriyo’s defeat to TMC candidate Aroop Biswas in the Tollygunge constituency in the March-April assembly polls.Supriyo also sought to downplay criticism by Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari and other BJP leaders for his decision to cross over to the TMC, saying they have the right to make remarks."I had respected his (Adhikari) decision when he had left the TMC to join BJP. Similarly, if I leave BJP to be a part of the ruling party, he should respect my decision," the former Union minister said.He, however, sounded critical of BJP state president Dilip Ghosh, and said he would buy the senior saffron party leader a copy of ‘Barna Porichoy’ to learn the basics of the Bengali language.Asked about the memes and trolls targeted at him since his announcement of joining the TMC, Supriyo said, "Those who are making snide comments against me, let me say it is fair enough. All is fair in love and war.“Whatever I had posted in social media in the past was made in love. And, I think there can be rivals but not enemies. I am thinking about today and tomorrow, not about anything in the past.” To another question, Supriyo said he would not like to face the embarrassment of campaigning against BJP candidate for the Bhabanipur bypoll Priyanka Tibrewal, "who is a fighter and helped me in legal matters”.Tibrewal is pitted against Banerjee in Bhabanipur, which will go to polls on September 30. PTI SUS AMR RBT RBT

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