Kolkata: A day after joining Trinamool Congress, Babul Supriyo, without detailing out his ‘New exciting opportunity’ offered by Trinamool Congress, said that he preferred to stay in ‘Playing 11’ indicating that he will become one of the ‘frontline face’ of the party.
Speaking at a press conference, the former union minister said, “I thank Mamata didi, Abhishek Banerjee and TMC for giving me a chance in the ‘playing 11’. I am aware of trolling on social media. I’ve been engaged in politics for the last 7 years. I felt it was a good opportunity (on joining TMC) for public welfare”.
When asked whether he would go to the Rajya Sabha in place of Arpita Ghosh, Babul said, “I have been very disciplined and I will not break the rule of the party. Like, after leaving BJP, I cannot stay as an MP. I shall go to Delhi on Wednesday and if the Speaker gives me time, I shall resign”.
“Similarly, in Trinamool Congress it is the sole prerogative of Mamata Banerjee to decide and announce the responsibility that will be entrusted to me. I cannot say that. I can only do one thing – There was an offer that I couldn’t refuse,” Supriyo added.
Making it clear that he was well aware of the criticism that was meant for him from the BJP leadership, the well-known singer said, “I am not against criticism. It is a challenging job and I took the challenge knowing that there will be brickbats against me. Only I expect that the people would be careful about the language. One will have to respect the decision and then only he can disagree. Surpriyo was referring to a tweet by senior BJP leader Tathagata Roy who said that Supriyo is a traitor.
Though Supriyo didn’t mention anything about his differences with the BJP leadership, in a tweet Supriyo said, “Did I create history by shifting sides? Well, then all the ‘Rivals’ who joined BJP, were embraced & made to sit on top posts ignoring all those ‘real’ BJP grassroots fighters, should be dumped because they may have all spoiled their images (like u said I did) tarnishing BJP’s image, right?”
Supriyo was answering to a tweet by veteran BJP leader Swapan Dasgupta who wrote, “The anger of BJP supporters at @SuPriyoBabul as defection is very real, as is the disgust of ordinary people over people shifting sides. Learning to digest adversity & having patience are part of politics. Sadly, Babul was in a tearing hurry. He may end up damaging his own image”.
“The anger is surely real but so was mine Dada. It was expected & isn’t fair too — I accept it. But what about this same Babul publicly protesting against inducting ‘outsiders’ into BJP? Did BJP do good to its image then? Plz ask the same supporters who were sidelined by these outsiders,” Supriyo added.
The BJP MP from Asansol said, “I knew that I shall have to face brickbats but I wanted to take the challenge. I am biased about Bengal and people of Asansol. I always wanted to work for them. When I was a Union Minister, I tried hard to bring projects for Bengal. I am ready to face any kind of criticism for the sake of the people”.
When asked about the ‘Jhal-Muri’ deal alleged by BJP leader Anupam Hazra, Supriyo said, “I was a minister then and we all went to Netaji Indoor Stadium where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also present. After Modi went, the Chief Minister asked me to come with her. I also had some discussions regarding some projects. When we were near Victoria Memorial, she offered me ‘Jhal-Muri’. I couldn’t say ‘No’. Today if a BJP minister offers ‘Dhokla’ I shall have it with him. This is decency I think”.