BJP Asansol MP Babul Supriyo has claimed that he got a ticket to contest the Lok Sabha elections on the recommendation of Baba Ramdev.
The popular singer wrote this in the first part of a two-part article he is writing for the Sunday supplement of Bengali vernacular Anandabazar Patrika. Narendra Modi had campaigned for Supriyo during the campaign.
Writing in the format of a diary, Supriyo says that on February 28 he found himself sitting next to the yoga guru on a flight and overheard him discussing ticket distribution with somebody. The MP claims he told him, jocularly, “Baba I also want a ticket. And if you do not give it, I will tell the media how you are giving tickets to people.”
Supriyo says Ramdev was taken aback, and told his personal secretary to take down the number of the singer.
On March 1, the MP says, he got a call from a person who identified himself as Rakesh, a pracharak of the RSS.
“Baba has told us about you. How much money will you be able to spend? The limit is Rs 70 lakh but some people spend more than that,” he said.
Supriyo writes that he told Rakesh he could not spend the money. “I love Modiji and that is why I want to contest,” I told him.
Three days later, writes the MP, he got a call. It was Ramdev, who told him that his candidature had been confirmed. When the singer told him he would not be able to spend the money required, Ramdev reportedly said, laughing: “That will be taken care of by the BJP. But you promise to me that you will learn Pavan Mukta asana (a pose to release gas).”
On March 7, BJP state president Rahul Sinha called up Supriyo asking him if he had any objection to being fielded from Asansol “Why Asansol?” Supriyo asked. “Because Asansol is a Hindi belt and you speak that language well. We believe if we work hard, we can win that seat,” Sinha said.
Supriyo told The Indian Express that the second part of his article, which will appear next Sunday, will be even “more interesting”.
Sinha said he had not yet seen the piece. “I will definitely read it and then comment.”