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Lok Sabha election 2019: BJP’s Babul Supriyo is on song in politics

Babul Supriyo, the 49-year-old seems to have found a comfortable nest in politics as he prepares to defend his seat in West Bengal’s Asansol constituency that he won in 2014.

people Updated: Apr 09, 2019 09:32 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Lok Sabha elections 2019,Babul Supriyo,BJP candidate from Asansol
BJP has once again fielded sitting MP Babul Supriyo for Lok Sabha elections 2019 from Asansol in West Bengal.(HT file photo)

From banking to playback singing to politics, Babul Supriyo’s career has moved from one unrelated domain to another. However, the 49-year-old seems to have found a comfortable nest in politics as he prepares to defend his seat in West Bengal’s Asansol constituency that he won in 2014.

Supriyo, a debutant in politics that year, secured 36.75% of the votes compared to 30.58% of Dola Sen of Trinamool Congress and won by a margin of 70,000 votes.

Unlike the feisty Dola Sen, this time Supriyo (49) faces Moon Moon Sen of Trinamool Congress, an actor of Bengali and Hindi films of yesteryears, who also happens to be the daughter of actor Suchitra Sen, Bengal’s heartthrob of millions across generations.

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In the run-up to the 2014 elections, while campaigning, Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi made it clear that Supriyo was a personal favourite. About seven months after the elections, in November 2014, Supriyo was appointed a junior minister in the ministry of urban development and ministry of housing. He served in this position till July 2016, when he was shifted to the ministry of heavy industries and public enterprises as its MoS.

As an MoS, Supriyo used to allege that the bureaucrats of the Mamata Banerjee administration did not cooperate with him in working out development plans.

Read: Congress warhorse Digvijaya Singh can’t be written off

After the BJP candidate list was published on the evening of Holi, Supriyo explained his choice to the media that perhaps he was counted among the list of performing ministers. However, Trinamool Congress leaders have already started campaigning that as the junior minister of heavy industries, he has done little for revival of the rusting industrial units that dot the Lok Sabha constituency of Asansol.

According to political observers, the 49-year-old faces a tougher challenge this time. They claim in 2014, factional fights between two prominent leaders of the ruling Trinamool Congress made a victory easier for Supriyo, but this time the factions appear to have come closer.

An indication of Supriyo’s difficulty became clear when Jitendra Tiwari, the mayor of Asansol and a Trinamool MLA, told his councillors that they will be given additional civil contracts ranging from Rs 10 million and Rs 1 million depending on the amount of leads they could generate for Moon Moon Sen from their respective municipal wards. Tiwari also said the councillors should resign if they failed to do so, and pledged that he would step down too, in case he could not produce a lead in his own ward.

Read: Congress’s Milind Deora expected to shore up party prospects

However, politics is not Supriyo’s only claim to fame.

The grandson of N C Baral, a vocalist, Supriya Baral changed his name to Babul Supriyo when he entered the entertainment industry and moved from Kolkata to Mumbai in 1992 after quitting a foreign multinational bank. His break came in Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai, the film with the number Dil ne dil ko pukara.

Despite his busy schedule, Supriyo is a family man, who finds time to go out with his wife Rachna and daughter Naina. He is also a self-confessed motorbike addict.

Recently, the minister said that he is writing stories that he hopes would, some day, be turned into movies. He also compares himself with a cellphone and says just as the device switches off if not charged, he nurtures the artiste in him to charge himself periodically.

Supriyo also keeps a strict watch on his weight and wants to reduce about four kgs. But if he wins from Asansol this time too, he has to contend with a fast rising weight -- the political one.

First Published: Apr 09, 2019 09:32 IST