Won't campaign for Tibrewal, says Supriyo

Kolkata: Just ahead of the by-election in Bhowanipore Assembly constituency, fissures within the saffron party seemed to be out in the open after former Union minister Babul Supriyo refused to do canvassing for BJP candidate Priyanka Tiberwal who has been fielded against TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee.

"I will not be campaigning in Bhowanipore as I will stick to my decision of not to be part of active politics anymore. I will not be seen in any political platform," Supriyo said in an interview to a television channel after his name was announced as one of the star campaigners of BJP.

Supriyo was dropped from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Council of Ministers in the latest reshuffle. Peeved over it, he had announced to resign from his Lok Sabha seat of Asansol. However, he was later mollified and he agreed not to resign.

Supriyo, however, congratulated her in a tweet stating: "Many Congratulations Priyanka Tibrewal BJP. She is a spirited girl & fought all my Legal Battles (Succesfully) in Politics since 2014 with a lot of grit, LOGIC & confidence•That was a reason why I asked her to join the Party•Extremely happy for her @AmitShah @JPNadda @BJP4India".

Tibrewal, a 41-year-old lawyer at the Calcutta High Court and legal adviser to Babul Supriyo, had fought from Entally in 2021 but was defeated by over 58,000.

The BJP has apparently prepared a list of 20 star campaigners for the upcoming Bengal bypolls, including Union Cabinet ministers Smriti Irani and Hardeep Singh Puri, Shahnawaz Hussain. Subhas Sarkar and John Barla are also likely to campaign for her.

Interestingly, BJP has kept out three of its leaders who had played a major role in the 2021 Assembly election, namely Kailash Vijayvargiya, Shiv Prakash and Arvind Menon.

Rudranil Ghosh, who lost to Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay by over 28,000 votes, has been made the campaign manager for Tiberwal. The list of campaigners published by the Central BJP has not gone down well with the state leaders who felt neglected. Preferring anonymity, they said the party has made the same mistake by giving more emphasis on national leaders.

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