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Opposition alliance a ploy to protect the corrupt: Supriyo (IANS interview)


IANS Asansol
Union Minister and BJP candidate in West Bengal's Asansol Lok Sabha seat, Babul Supriyo, feels the opposition alliance will never materialise or cause any trouble to Narendra Modi regime, as it is only a "desperate attempt by corrupt political leaders to take a backdoor exit" from the grave charges they face.
Talking to IANS on his way to a public meeting in Durgapur in his constituency, Supriyo, the sitting MP, spoke about the prospects of the 'Mahagatbandhan' (grand alliance) in the ongoing general elections, the Modi government's role in combating corruption and the "atrocities" of the Mamata Banerjee government against him and his fellow party leaders.
"It's funny that they are now talking about two fronts - one with the Congress and one without it. Actually there is no front. It is nothing but a secret understanding between the corrupt. They are trying to take a backdoor exit from the humongous corruption charges that have been levelled against them," Suproyo said sitting in his SUV, which sped across Asansol on a humid April afternoon.
"Some of these leaders even had to take bail from the Supreme Court. Let's understand that these are not mere accusations, but there are major charges against them, for which they had to take anticipatory bail."
Attacking Trinamool supremo Banerjee, he castigated her for holding a sit-in in Kolkata in protest against the Central Bureau of Investigation's attempts to interrogate then city Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with the Ponzi scam probe.
"We must understand why people like Mamata Banerjee are constantly talking about Modi ji. There have been scams of over Rs 40,000 crore in Rose Valley and Saradha chit fund under Mamata's government and instead of delivering justice, she is holding a dharna for her blue-eyed IPS officer in Kolkata?
"There is incriminating evidence that he tried to mislead the investigators in the Saradha chit fund scams by misplacing certain important documents," the singer-turned politician claimed.
Supriyo alleged that many opposition leaders have come together as they are desperate to stop the ongoing probes against themselves or their relatives and friends.
"According to opposition leaders, all ongoing probes against them are political vendetta by the BJP, whereas most of the probes are being done under direct orders from the Supreme Court.
"So in case if they come to power tomorrow, should the probe into Saradha-Narada or against (Congress President Rajiv Gandhi's brother-in-law) Robert Vadra stop? Should those who looted the country be allowed to go scot free? No, it should not happen."
Mocking Banerjee for claiming she was leading the tirade against the Modi government, Supriyo said she might get a chance to be Prime Minister for two days in a week as a reward for her efforts if the opposition alliance manages to form a government at the centre.
"Mamata didi is now claiming that she is going to lead the 'grand-adulteration government'. It seems she will be allowed to function as the Prime Minister by the rest of the aspirants for two days in a week. But those days will be Saturdays and Sundays, when most of the government departments do not work," he said.
Asked about the allegations against the Modi government for failing to stop massive loan defaulters like diamantaire Nirav Modi and liquor baron Vijay Mallya from leaving the country, he said the offenders ran away as they understood that they will have no respite under the BJP government.
Supriyo, who surprised many by defeating Trinamool's Dola Sen by over 70,000 votes in Asansol five years back, said politics has made him more patient while constant confrontation with the Trinamool government's "political mudslinging and oppression" has given him a lesson on anger management.
Taking a swipe at the Trinamool candidate in Asansol and yesteryears' actor Moon Moon Sen, who has been shifted from Bankura in spite of her victory there last time, he said unlike her, he did not have to flee from his constituency as he has sincerely worked for the people there and built a bridge between "Delhi and Asansol".
"I could have easily migrated to some other constituency like Moon Moon Sen, who fled from Bankura. She cannot go back to there as she has done nothing there, apart from inaugurating a few 'Melas' (fairs). I am sticking to Asansol because people here have given me unconditional love.
"There are hundreds of BJP activists who worked hard for me day and night. So why should I desert them and go? The Modi factor is very much there. But I did not try to use him as a piggy bank."
Supriyo said he was confident of his victory, but not complacent.
"That's why I am campaigning every day," he said.
Stopping his vehicle to meet a group of school children and clicking selfies with them, Supriyo said: "15 years from now, I want these kids of Asansol to vote for me. I have tremendous respect for those politicians who have fought from the same place and won five-six times.
"It really requires a lot of hard work to battle anti-incumbency after two or three terms. I am looking to build up that sort of credibility and goodwill for myself in Asansol."
(Milinda Ghosh Roy can be contacted at)

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First Published: Apr 28 2019 | 12:32 PM IST

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