Asansol MP and former Union minister Babul Supriyo, who joined Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Saturday, said that he is thankful to party supremo Mamata Banerjee and national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee for “including him in the main eleven.”
Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Babul Supriyo said, “If I don’t get a chance to play eleven or first class, I won’t play at junior level. I will go to East Bengal from Mohun Bagan (football club) but I want to be in the playing 11. I am thankful to Abhishek and Mamata for involving me in the main 11. It is inspiring and motivational. They [TMC] were able to motivate me to change my decision. They have motivated me in the last four days.”
Babul Supriyo, who was earlier in the BJP, was formally inducted into the TMC by Abhishek Banerjee and Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien, a month after he said he was ‘quitting’ politics.
Praising Mamata Banerjee for giving him an opportunity and thanking Derek O’Brien for making an offer he couldn’t refuse, Babul Surpiyo said, “Mamata didi has given me an opportunity. I had a long discussion with Abhishek. I was talking to Derek, I felt a lot of love and support for a party with which I have had an association. I have responded to a huge opportunity. I am grateful to Mamata ji for she thought about me. I am thankful she [Mamata] felt I was leaving some unfinished work in politics.”
ON HIS FB POST
Asked about an earlier Facebook post announcing his retirement from politics, Babul Supriyo said that his “decision was not emotional”.
“I had said I would move away from politics, according to my FB post. It was emotional. But it was not an emotional decision. No decision in reality, song or politics was emotional. I will not erase any FB post. I am responding to a responsibility, an opportunity. Everything I have written is due to a reaction out of an emotion,” Babul Surpriyo said.
“If decisions are taken from emotions, it does not mean it is an emotional one,” he added.
Former Minister of State (MoS) Babul Supriyo’s post came after he was dropped from the Union Cabinet in July, which the Asansol MP had acknowledged as one of the reasons behind his decision.
Responding to a question about TMC Rajya Sabha MP Saugata Roy, Babul Supriyo said, “There are political rivals but outside parliament he [Saugata Roy] has respected that as a friend.”
ON HIS COMEBACK
Babul Supriyo said he felt retired hurt after quitting politics and expressed gratitude to TMC for giving him the opportunity to serve people again.
“When I came to public service, it felt like I had retired hurt and people said continue singing but don’t quit (politics). Didi will tell you about my role. Everything is fair in love and way [people who will criticize me or praise me]. I am happy that I get the opportunity to work for people. Life has opened up a huge opportunity. The seven years I fought in politics, I realised your fiercest rivals are not your enemies,” Babul Surpiyo said.
ON SINGER KABIR SUMAN
Responding to Bengali singer and political activist Kabir Suman criticising his FB post, Babul Surpiyo said that he is entitled to his opinion and can say whatever he wants.
“I won’t read what he says. Positivity is the main essence in the coming days. When I was in Delhi, I said restart the East-West metro corridor. I convinced them [I did something special]. I have worked. Maybe people voted for me at first in Asansol due to being a singer, but the second time they didn’t, they saw my work. I cannot get into hypocrisy, what TMC will give depends on Mamata,” Babul Supriyo said.
He further said that if the Lok Sabha Speaker gives him time on Wednesday, he will give up his seat.
ON HIS FORMER BJP COLLEAGUES
Babul Surpiyo, however, did not speak about any of his former colleagues in BJP.
Responding to a question on criticism of his decision to join the Trinamool Congress, Babul Supriyo said, “Suvendu has the right to speak against me when I came to TMC. Shamik also spoke against me. When Suvendu went from TMC to BJP, people spoke, so when people spoke about me being an outsider, everyone knew the list. I have given my best in BJP since 2014. Where were they in 2014?”
“We are political rivals now. Let us enjoy it. When someone quits a party and joins another, they are called traitors, but you have a right when you first respect his decision. They are all senior colleagues. I have given my sweat and blood on the playing field, my car was ransacked, I don’t need to prove anything,” he added.