'My 2nd innings will be brighter than the first: Babul Supriyo

Babul Supriyo, the newly appointed minister of tourism and information technology in West Bengal, has made fun of the BJP, which is currently in power at the federal level, by claiming that his second term in the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government will be far more successful than his time as a central minister in the Narendra Modi-led NDA government.

Supriyo, who left the BJP last year, expressed gratitude to the Chief Minister and leader of the Trinamool Congress, Mamata Banerjee, for her support.

“I truly don’t know how this coincidence happened” (August 3). Yes, life has indeed gone full circle. I quit the BJP in August of last year, and I was sworn in as a minister in the West Bengal administration today,” he remarked Wednesday.

Supriyo is one of the eight new Mamata Banerjee’s cabinet members who were sworn in on Wednesday at the Raj Bhavan. “Didi’s (Banerjee) hand brought about poetic justice.

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She was the one who nominated me as a candidate for the Ballygunge seat, encouraged me, gave me strength, and the party as a whole backed me because I had departed politics, Supriyo added.

Supriyo had declared his intention to leave politics sometime after being removed from the Union cabinet during a reshuffle last year. Still, he changed his mind and decided to remain a Lok Sabha member. But the former musician, now a lawmaker, joined TMC in September.

“I’ll put forth a lot of effort to help the people of West Bengal thrive. In order to make my second stint as a central minister more successful, I will provide all I have learned from my prior experiences,” he stated.

Supriyo, who won the Asansol Lok Sabha seat by a massive majority of 1.97 lakh votes in the 2019 elections, questioned why a Bengali MP would not be given a full-time Union minister after giving his all for the party. He was a minister of state for the Union.

“I may have made some errors, but since 2014, as the central minister, I had contributed all I had. I think I was mistreated. Why are there no full-time Union ministers from West Bengal? I did not accept it well,” he said.

On Wednesday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee reorganized her cabinet significantly by removing four ministers and swearing nine new members, including former BJP central minister Babul Supriyo.

In one of the greatest cabinet reshuffles since her party, the Trinamool Congress took office for the first time in the state in 2011, Banerjee replaced the portfolios of over half the members of the ministerial council.

The TMC is in a dilemma after the arrest of senior minister Partha Chatterjee by the ED last month for the school employment scam. This is the first cabinet reshuffle since the TMC swept back into power for a third straight term in May last year. Information Technology and Electronics, one of Chatterjee’s departments, was given to Supriyo. The portfolio for tourism was also given to the singer-turned-politician.

The responsibility for the departments of Industry and Commerce and Parliamentary Affairs was assigned to Sashi Panja and Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, respectively. Previously, Chatterjee held both positions, but the party suspended him following his incarceration. Satyajit Barman replaced Paresh Adhikary as the Minister of State for Education. The latter, whose name also appeared in the hoax, was pushed aside.

In addition to Supriyo, Governor La Ganesan also swore in Udayan Guha, Partha Bhowmick, Snehasis Chakraborty, and Pradip Mazumdar as cabinet ministers.