Babul Supriyo may be Trinamool's Mayor candidate in KMC polls

Babul Supriyo may be Trinamool's Mayor candidate in KMC polls
Babul Supriyo. Source: IANS

Kolkata, Nov 16 (IANS) There are strong indications within the Trinamool Congress that former Union minister Babul Supriyo, who recently quit the BJP and joined the Trinamool, might become the Mayor candidate and the face of the party in the forthcoming elections to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) scheduled on December 19.

Though there has been no official confirmation on this yet, according to party insiders, Supriyo is the 'most favourite' among the candidates for the post because he is preferred by Trinamool's all-India General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee, who is the main decision maker in the party at present.

There are several other indications that make Supriyo the frontrunner in the race. The party recently announced the 'one man, one post' policy, which puts outgoing Mayor Firhad Hakim out of the race. Chandrima Bhattacharyay was also considered for the post, but after Amit Mitra decided not to continue as the Finance Minister of the state, Bhattacharyay has been made Minister of State for Finance.

Initially, it was thought that Supriyo would be nominated to the Rajya Sabha. But by nominating Sushmita Dev and former Goa Chief Minister Luizinho Falerio to the Upper House, the party has made it obvious that it is not thinking of Supriyo for national politics.

So, Supriyo is still 'free', and sources in the party said that Abhishek Banerjee is looking at a young and dynamic face as the Mayor of Kolkata. In that case, Supriyo fits the bill.

Meanwhile, former BJP state unit chief Dilip Ghosh said on Tuesday that Trinamool Congress will not give anything to Supriyo but 'jhunjhuni' (a musical instrument used to lull babies to sleep).

Ghosh said how can Supriyo become the Mayor of Kolkata when he is not even a voter of KMC?

Reacting to Ghosh, Supriyo called the BJP leader "nothing but a joker".

Supriyo was a voter in the Kailash Bose Street area of Kolkata, but after becoming the MP of Asansol, he transferred his vote to Asansol.

However, his ancestral home is still at the Kailash Bose Street in north Kolkata. While it is still a matter of speculation whether Babul will again transfer his voter ID card to Kolkata, a senior Trinamool leader said that the party is considering three wards for Surpiyo.

Voting is scheduled on the same day in 144 wards of Kolkata and 50 wards of Howrah. According to Trinamool sources, Abhishek Banerjee will play a major role in the nomination of candidates for the upcoming elections in the twin cities on both sides of Hooghly river.

Incidentally, three Mayors of Kolkata -- late Subrata Mukherjee, Sovan Chatterjee and Firhad Hakim -- were the choice of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Now if Supriyo is nominated, Abhishek Banerjee will have a big role in formulating the decision, promulgating the inevitable change within the party.