Bharatiya Janata Party leader Babul Supriyo on Saturday announced that he was quitting politics and would also resign as an MP soon, reported The Times of India. The singer-turned-politician said that he will vacate his government-appointed house within a month.
Supriyo was among the Union ministers who were dropped from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Council of Ministers ahead of the Cabinet reshuffle on July 7. He was replaced by Ashwini Kumar Choubey as the Union Minister of State for Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
Supriyo admitted that his removal from the Cabinet had some role to play in his decision, reported India Today. The former minister added that he didn’t plan to join any other party as he is a “one-team player”.
He thanked Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP chief JP Nadda and said that the party leaders might think his decision was meant to bargain for a position. “I don’t want that to happen,” he wrote on Facebook. “I pray for their forgiveness.”
Supriyo said he needed some time for himself. “If you want to do social work, you can do it without being in politics,” he added.
He recounted his political journey with the BJP and said that there was a difference between the party’s standing in West Bengal in 2014 and in 2019.
“In 2014, I was the only BJP MP,” Supriyo said. “But today, BJP is the main opposition party in West Bengal. There are many young and bright faces in the party. There are experienced seniors too. The party will scale new heights under their leadership.”
Referring to the infighting in the BJP ahead of the West Bengal Assembly elections earlier this year, he said: “I was responsible for some of them, but other leaders were responsible too. I don’t want to speak about it. However, the conflict among senior leaders was obviously affecting [the] party.”
There was a rift between senior BJP leaders and new inductees to the party ahead of the elections, according to PTI. Party officials had told the news agency that senior BJP leaders were not happy with the induction of several Trinamool Congress members, who had defected from the Mamata Banerjee-led party.
They were discontent when BJP leader Rahul Sinha was replaced by Anupam Hazra, a former TMC MP, as the party’s national secretary in September, according to PTI. In March, Supriyo, along with BJP leaders Sayantan Basu and Agnimitra Paul, had opposed the induction of former TMC leader Jitendra Tiwari into the party.