If Asansol’s Development Remains Unchanged, Babul Supriyo Might Have Sung His Last Song in Lok Sabha

Politics

If Asansol’s Development Remains Unchanged, Babul Supriyo Might Have Sung His Last Song in Lok Sabha

Illustration: Arati Gujar

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n Asansol, West Bengal, in the heart of the state’s industrial belt, the vikas that the whole country has been waiting for since 2014 seems even farther off than it does in other places. With a population of close to 12.5 lakh that is growing at a rate of 2.06 per cent compared to Kolkata’s growth rate of 1.73 (according to the 2011 census), Asansol is West Bengal’s fastest growing urban sprawl. But the widespread closure of industrial units here is also closing all avenues of employment for the local workforce, and this puts the local BJP MP Babul Supriyo, into something of a bind.

Though he made his name in playback singing, possibly his most memorable numbers are the songs of praise he sings for PM Modi. The Hooghly resident’s loyalty paid dividends as he got Asansol’s BJP ticket from PM Modi, who then made him Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises in 2014. As the Lok Sabha elections approach and the industrial sector in his constituency continues to dissolve, Supriyo’s chances of a return as an MP are bleak. Unfortunately for him, during his February 2 rally, the PM focused on the Union Budget, and said nothing about reviving industries in the once-thriving industrial belt.  

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