UNION MINISTER Babul Supriyo on Friday morning paid a surprise visit to the ruling Trinamool Congress’ foundation day function in his Lok Sabha constituency of Asansol.
The programme was attended by Trinamool leader and Asansol Municipal Corporation Chairman Jitendra Tiwari. There, Supriyo went up to the stage, exchanged pleasantries with Tiwari and sang a song.
Following this, sources said Supriyo was summoned by state BJP president Dilip Ghosh.
While the two met before Supriyo left for Delhi in the evening, Ghosh denied that he had demanded an explanation from Supriyo regarding the
Meanwhile, in the afternoon, Supriyo took to Twitter to describe former Bengal chief secretary Sanjay Mitra as a “Trinamool cadre” who created hurdles in his efforts to carry out development works in the state.
This comes days after Mitra was appointed as the roads secretary in the Union government. While referring to Mitra, a 1982-batch IAS officer from Bengal, Supriyo tweeted: “In West Bengal, the man who was the BIGGEST Road-block between Development & Me was the now EX-Chief Secretary Mr Sanjay Mitra.”
He added: “Mr Sanjay Mitra was single-handedly responsible for making sure WB State Officials do not cooperate with me. He was a TMC cadre in a IAS post.”
In another tweet, however, he wished Mitra all the best for his new post. “However, I wish him all the VERY BEST while he joins as the Secretary (of) one the most well-performing Ministries of GOI, under Shri. Gadkari.” Later, the MoS for Urban Development, tweeted: “Under GOI we’ll ensure that Mr Mitra walks an extra Mile to ensure that every Mile of Highway in West Bengal is done with super-speed.”
Speaking to The Indian Express, Supriyo said this was not the first time that he had criticised Mitra and him exchanging pleasantries with Tiwari was not political. “Earlier as well, on several occasions, I have said how Mitra had posed as an impediment to developmental works… Now, we will make him work more for Bengal,” he added.
“In regard to attending the (Trinamool) programme in the morning, in a federal structure, a minister and the mayor of a city must work in tandem towards the development of the area… I was passing through the area where the mayor was present. We saw each other… I thought it was New Year and exchanged good wishes, forgetting political differences for sometime,” he claimed.
When contacted, Dilip Ghosh denied that he had summoned Supriyo over the issue. “He (Supriyo) was on his way to New Delhi. Before he went to the airport, he had come to meet me. There is nothing more to it. He is an open-hearted MP and meets people from other parties easily. This is not the first time,” Ghosh told The Indian Express. “Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, sometimes ago, had offered him a lift while returning from a programme. Supriyo had not only accepted it but also shared jhaalmuri with her,” he added.
Tiwari too claimed that sharing stage Supriyo was hardly of any consequence. “We appreciate his gesture… but we will salute him the day when he speaks against the anti-people policies of the Modi government. Simply singing songs will not help much,” the Trinamool leader said.
When asked about Supriyo’s allegations against him, Sanjay Mitra said he was a civil servant and would not like to comment on the matter.