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Ex Central Minister Babul Slams Modi’s Lack Of Faith In Bengal

 
Babul Supriyo

Ashok Chatterjee

Kolkata (The Hawk): Little more than a week after defecting to the Trinamool Congress (TMC), BJP Asansol MP Babul Supriyo hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the first time on Wednesday.

While addressing the media during his joining the ruling party in Bengal, Babul had refrained from speaking against the Prime Minister, when asked by journalists.

On Wednesday, Babul said that the Prime Minister doesn’t have faith in Bengalis.

“In my seven-eight years of stay in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), I realised that the PM doesn't have faith in Bengalis. Forget cabinet ministers, no leader from Bengal was ever made a minister with independent charge. BJP’s S S Ahluwalia, came to the party from the Congress and is a senior leader. But he was not offered any ministry,” claimed the singer-turned-politician.

Ahluwalia was one of the only two MPs from Bengal along with Babul in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. 

The two-time MP from Asansol in West Bengal had shown his displeasure at the BJP after being replaced as Union minister in the last reshuffle at New Delhi.   

Babul had gone to New Delhi to resign from his MP post but, according to the MP, couldn’t manage to get time from Speaker Om Birla in the last one week. Hence, he could not resign.

Babul had claimed that he would work for West Bengal under chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s leadership.

During the Lok Sabha campaign in 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a rally in Asansol urged people to vote for Babul so that he can be a part of parliament.

“Mujhe parliament mein Babul chahiye” (I want Babul in parliament), Modi was heard saying.

Slamming Babul, West Bengal BJP spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya said that whatever Babul does he does it for a “short span of time”.

BJP MP Arjun Singh calling Babul a ‘traitor’ said that BJP has given Babul “immense respect”.

“People of West Bengal have seen what respect and love Babul got from the BJP. Only traitors like him can claim that Bengalis are not respected,” said Arjun.

For political analyst Bhaskar Sinha Roy the issue is of being from Bengal rather than ‘Bengali’. Reading the MP’s statement Sinha Roy thinks Bengal has been a factor.  

“It is more to do with Bengal. Even when there were two MPs from West Bengal and later when they had 19, none were given a cabinet rank. In comparison, Smriti Irani was made a cabinet minister in 2014 despite losing her election. It is actually the prerogative of the PM, who will be made minister. She at that time had similar political acumen as of Babul,” said Sinha Roy.

“Bengal was never given serious consideration by the BJP. Bengal was not accepted, I guess, as other states. How do you explain that none of the winning MPs from Bengal were made cabinet ministers? Did they lack the capacity to be a cabinet minister?” wonders the political analyst.     

It can be argued that performance of BJP MPs in 2021 state elections was not up to the mark. Of the two MPs who won after contesting state elections, only one was made a minister. In Asansol, as well as his own defeat in Tollygunge in the assembly poll could have played a role in Babul’s ouster, wonders the Sinha Roy.

Another analyst, who is in the know of things, wondered why didn’t Babul not resign despite being in New Delhi for so many days. “Did he hesitate before submitting his papers? He is disturbed with what TMC is thinking of him. Maybe the conditions Babul desired in the TMC are not being fulfilled,” said the analyst.