Trinamool's Babul Supriyo on 'communal stamp' ahead of Bengal bypolls | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Trinamool's Babul Supriyo on 'communal stamp' ahead of Bengal bypolls

Apr 08, 2022 08:00 AM IST

Bengal bypolls: Babul Supriyo, a Mamata Banerjee critic during his BJP stint, last year made a surprise switch to her party months after the state elections. He then faced critcism. 

Trinamool Congress's Babul Supriyo, who is all set to contest the Ballygunge assembly bypoll next week, on Thursday took a swipe at his former party as he faces attacks over switching sides. The singer-politican said he was "now free to meet 100 per cent of the population" unlike before. "A communal stamp was imposed over my image. But it is not true," the 51-year-old leader told news agency ANI, taking a dig at the BJP.

Trinamool Congress national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee participates in a rally in support of TMC candidate for Ballygunge by-election Babul Supriyo in Kolkata on Thursday. (SAMIR JANA/HT PHOTO.)(HT_PRINT)
Trinamool Congress national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee participates in a rally in support of TMC candidate for Ballygunge by-election Babul Supriyo in Kolkata on Thursday. (SAMIR JANA/HT PHOTO.)(HT_PRINT)

"Earlier I could only meet 70 per cent (of the population). Now I am free to meet 100 per cent population. I am among those four-five singers who performed shows in Pakistan. When I was in BJP, I was not afraid of anyone. Now whoever wants to create controversy, can do so. I do not need to comment on them," the former union minister further said.

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Supriyo, a Mamata Banerjee critic during his BJP stint, last year made a surprise switch to her party months after the state elections. That happened after he said he was retiring from politics. He had also quit as the Lok Sabha MP from Asansol. In the April-May elections last year, Supriyo had lost the state election in Tollygunge.

In the April 12 bypolls, he is set to fight the BJP's Keya Ghosh, also a singer and politican. In the weeks ahead of the polls, Ghosh launched fresh attacks on her rival over his political choices.

Supriyo's BJP stint in the past seems to have created problems for Supriyo. West Bengal Imams Association chairman Muhammad Yahiya has opposed his candidature, calling the former BJP leader “communal”. “Of the seven wards [in the constituency], Muslims comprise around 60% of the electorate in five...,” he said.

But Mamata Banerjee's nephew, Abhishek, has stepped in to douse the controversy. “After Supriyo’s name was announced many people said voting for him is akin to voting for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). I want to tell them that Babul Supriyo has abandoned the BJP’s ideology and embraced the ideology of TMC. He has left the politics of Jai Sri Ram and followed the politics of Jai Bangla and Jai Hind,” he said on Thursday at a rally he led with Supriyo.

The parliamentary constituency of Asansol - where the TMC has picked actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha as its candidate -  will also vote along with the assembly constituency of Ballygunge on April 12.

(With inputs from ANI)

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