Singer-turned politician Babul Supriyo sworn in as a minister in West Bengal government on Wednesday.
Bharatiya Janata Party national Vice President Dilip Ghosh on Thursday hit back at former party leader and newly inducted minister in the West Bengal government, Babul Supriyo who accused the Centre of not picking a Bengali as a cabinet minister in the last eight years.
Singer-turned politician Babul Supriyo, who crossed over from the BJP to the TMC, was among nine leaders sworn in as ministers in the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government on Wednesday. Babul Supriyo hit out at the BJP thereafter accusing the party of "betraying" the Bengali people.
Reacting sharply to Mr Supriyo's allegation, Mr Ghosh, who is an MP from Medinipur, questioned the TMC leader's performance during his eight-year tenure as a minister and said that there is no point playing the "Bengali card".
"BJP is a party with discipline. People are allotted positions based on their capabilities. The workers of the party are happy with it. People from Bengal have been the President, Speaker, it just needs the capability. I think Babul Supriyo is good only for the minister in the state," he said.
" He was a Bengali and he had been a cabinet minister for seven years, how did he perform as the minister? Everybody knows about his performance. So there is no point playing the 'Bengali card'. The Bengalis have to hang their heads in shame today. It is only because of the TMC," Mr Ghosh alleged.
Slamming Mr Supriyo for the allegation of not inducting a Bengali as a cabinet minister for the eight years at the Centre, the BJP vice president said that he did not make such statements when he was a minister at the Centre.
"Such a statement had not come when he was the minister at the Centre. Why make such statements? Everything was alright for him then. He left the BJP as he was removed from the ministerial post," Mr Ghosh said.
Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Supriyo had expressed gratitude to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and said that his second innings as a minister would be better than the first.
"I could dare to switch sides which is better than being a scapegoat. My second innings as a minister will be better than the first. Why did not a Bengali become a cabinet minister in the past eight years at the Centre? The BJP cannot put allegations against me, because it itself is in most of the state because of the poaching of MLAs," he said.
Meanwhile, apart from Babul Supriyo, Snehasis Chakraborty, Partha Bhowmick, Udayan Guha, Pradip Mazumder, Tajmul Hossain, and Satyajit Barman took oath as Cabinet ministers. Birbaha Hansda and Biplab Roy Chowdhury were sworn in as state Ministers with independent charge.
Mr Supriyo earlier has been a union minister in the Narendra Modi-led central government. However, he left the BJP to join the TMC.
This was the first cabinet reshuffle since Mamata Banerjee again came to power in West Bengal after the 2021 assembly polls.
The reshuffle also comes in the backdrop of the removal of senior TMC leader Partha Chatterjee from the cabinet. He was relieved of ministerial duties after his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the massive SSC recruitment scam case.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)