This Article is From Sep 19, 2021

"Disillusioned In BJP, Not OK With Being Benched": Babul Supriyo To NDTV

Babul Supriyo said Mamata Banerjee and Abhishek Banerjee had already made him part of Trinamool's "playing 11".

Babul Supriyo refused to comment on the seeming exodus from the BJP to the Trinamool.

New Delhi:

Former Union Minister Babul Supriyo on Saturday said he was disillusioned with the BJP, of which he was a member till recently, and quit because he was not okay with being benched.

"I did feel disillusioned...the seven years of hard work that I put in...not even my detractors will say that I have not fought in Bengal or I have not done good enough for the party," Mr Supriyo told NDTV.

"I felt I should move on to a place, to a team where the coach would want me in the team and welcome me with open arms."

The Asansol MP said "everything happened in the past three days". Nobody sent him any feelers, he clarified. The Trinamool Congress's Derek O'Brien is the one who told him about the "exciting and challenging opportunity", he said.

Mr Supriyo, taking full responsibility, said he was fully aware the that political opposition will "say what it wants to say" about his "major U-turn". In August, the Asansol MP said he was quitting politics after being dropped as Union Minister of State for Environment. Calling himself a "one-team player," he had said he won't be joining any other party.

He, however, joined Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress on Saturday.

"In life certain things happen to you. You respond to that in a manner which you feel is appropriate. My leaving politics was wholehearted," he said. 

"The warmth that Mamata didi and Abhishek (Banerjee) must have had that zing in it, the spark in it that made me change the position that my seven years of experience in central politics can be revived in a new manner."

Using the metaphor of a sports team repeatedly, Mr Supriyo said, "I am not really okay with sitting on the bench."

When asked if his disillusionment stemmed from the fact that he was asked by the BJP to contest the state polls in May, he said he was willing to fight any election with the only condition that he must be fielded in a "hard seat".

"I had made it field me in a seat from where someone else wouldn't really want to fight. Get your facts right," he said, calling himself a workaholic who wants to be in the "playing 11". "We all work for some kind of promotions in life, right?"

To a question on him setting the expectation from the Trinamool with his views on rewards for his effort, the Bollywood singer-turned politician said Ms Banerjee's party had already made him part of the "playing 11".

Admitting that he had opposed the party fiercely when in the BJP, he returned to the 'sports team' theme saying there are players moving from one team to another. 

"Whatever I do at any point of time, I do it with all my might," he said, pinning his hopes on the Trinamool having a plan for him.

Mr Supriyo is the fifth BJP leader, besides four MLAs, to join the West Bengal Chief Minister's party after it won the assembly election in May and retained power. More are likely.

Asked for the reason behind this seeming exodus, he said, "That is not for me to comment. If there is an exodus, then it is for the BJP leadership to decide why it is happening. Obviously I should not make a judgement here because I am not a BJP member anymore."