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regular-article-logo Monday, 24 June 2024

Babul Supriyo, Indranil Sen engage in war of words after cabinet meeting

Trinamul insiders said that the trouble started at the cabinet meeting when the chief minister asked Supriyo not to prevent Sen from doing his job as the chairman of the state tourism development corporation

Pranesh Sarkar Calcutta Published 29.08.23, 09:53 AM
Babul Supriyo, (right) Indranil Sen.

Babul Supriyo, (right) Indranil Sen. File picture

A spat between Babul Supriyo, the tourism minister, and Indranil Sen, the minister of state for information and cultural affairs and the chairman of the West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation, in the lobby of the Assembly drew the attention of administrative and political circles on Monday.

Sources said Supriyo accused Sen of interfering in his work soon after the duo emerged from the chief minister’s chamber where a cabinet meeting was held.

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Sen was heard saying that if he (Supriyo) has anything to say, he can lodge a complaint with the chief minister. Contacted later, Sen told The Telegraph that he did not want to speak on the issue. Supriyo could not be contacted by this newspaper.

Trinamul insiders said that the trouble started at the cabinet meeting when the chief minister asked Supriyo not to prevent Sen from doing his job as the chairman of the
state tourism development corporation.

“Actually, the tussle between the two had started when Sen was removed from the tourism department and Supriyo was given the charge of the department after he won a byelection from Ballygunge after resigning as a BJP MP.

The tussle got bitter after Sen was appointed the chairman of the tourism development board,” said a Trinamul insider.

Sen, multiple sources said, was given charge of the tourism development corporation — normally looked after by a bureaucrat — as the chief minister is said to have been not happy with the performance of Supriyo.

The chief minister has also been unhappy with Supriyo as some officers in the tourism department — and also in the IT department headed by Supriyo — have conveyed to her through the chief secretary their displeasure with the minister’s behaviour.

“The appointment of Sen as the chairman of the corporation was clearly a message to Supriyo… probably that’s why he lost his cool after emerging from the meeting,” said a source.

Sources said that as the issue has taken an ugly turn, the chief minister may intervene.

According to sources, Sen has told his close circles that he did not interfere in anybody’s work but he was trying to follow the instructions given to him before he was sent to the tourism development corporation.

“As the tourism minister, Sen implemented several projects that are close to the chief minister’s heart. That’s why she probably gave him the charge of the corporation,” said a source.

Supriyo, sources said, has the ear of Trinamul all-India general secretary Abhishek Banerjee and probably that’s why he got inducted into the cabinet.

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