Babul Supriyo bounced back to win Ballygunge constituency in April for Trinamool. (File)
Babul Supriyo, who was on Wednesday sworn in as a minister in Mamata Banerjee's cabinet, has had a roller-coaster ride, from being a popular playback singer to BJP's poster boy in West Bengal to joining the Trinamool government.
Mr Supriyo started off as a city banker who rose to be a BJP minister at the Centre after a chance meeting with yoga guru Ramdev, but suddenly found himself out in the cold after losing an assembly election from Tollygunge last year by a huge margin of 50,000 votes.
However, Mr Supriyo bounced back to win the prestigious Ballygunge constituency in April for his new party -- the Trinamool Congress -- which he joined in September 2021 in a surprise move.
Born in West Bengal's Uttarpara as Supriya Baral in 1970, he changed his name to Babul Supriyo while trying his luck as a Bollywood singer after quitting his banking job.
After a successful stint as a Hindi playback singer, Mr Supriyo entered politics in 2014, getting a ticket to contest the Lok Sabha elections for the BJP from West Bengal on Ramdev's recommendation.
He surprised everyone by defeating Trinamool's Dola Sen from the industrial town of Asansol and was made the Union Minister of State for Urban Development.
Two years later, he was shifted to the Ministry for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises during a reshuffle in July 2016.
In 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Mr Supriyo's winning streak continued when he defeated Trinamool's Moon Moon Sen by a huge margin of 1.97 lakh votes. This time the Bollywood singer was named the Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
Mr Supriyo was again pitted in April 2021, as the BJP candidate for Tollygunge Assembly constituency, which has as its centerpiece the Bengali movie industry known as Tollywood, against three-time Trinamool MLA Aroop Biswas.
The two-time BJP MP had then promised he would end Mr Biswas's “dictatorship” in Tollywood. However, this time round his streak of luck seemed to have run out. Mr Supriyo lost by over 50,000 votes.
Things also started going sour in his relationship with BJP's top leadership and he was eventually dropped from the Union Cabinet.
The perturbed 50-year-old singer, whose instinctive first reaction was that he would "quit" politics after being dropped from the ministry, ultimately joined the Trinamool after party chief Mamata Banerjee and general secretary Abhishek Banerjee extended an offer to him.
"It was with great disillusionment that I had announced that I would quit politics. A great opportunity has been extended by Didi (Mamata Banerjee) and Abhishek Banerjee and I am happy to accept that. I was expecting something more after seven years as a Union Minister of State. Then differences started growing with the party," Mr Supriyo had said after joining the Trinamool last year.
Though his victory in Ballygunge earlier this year was marred by a campaign of "no vote for Supriyo" undertaken by some groups in the constituency, Mr Supriyo, true to his roller coaster style won the seat by over 20,000 votes against his CPI(M) rival Saira Shah Halim, who emerged in the second position.
Interestingly, his former party's Keya Ghosh came a distant third.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)