Bollywood singer Babul Supriyo on Saturday announced his retirement from Indian politics, barely a month after he was sacked as a federal Minister by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the mega Cabinet rejig.
"I'm leaving...farewell...," Supriyo wrote on Facebook. "If you want to do social work, you can do it without being in politics...let's organise myself a little first and then..."
The 50-year-old country's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parliamentarian from the eastern Indian state of West Bengal's Asansol constituency, however, made it clear that he would not join any other political party.
"Heard everyone's words -- father, (mother) wife, daughter, two dear friends...After hearing everything, I say that I am not going to any other party - #TMC, #Congress, #CPIM, nowhere...I am a one Team Player! Have always supported one team #MohunBagan...Have backed only BJP in West Bengal...That's it...I am going..." he wrote.
Supriyo joined politics -- and the BJP -- some seven years ago. He served as junior Urban Development Minister and Minister of State for Heavy Industries in the Modi government's first five-year tenure. He was made the junior Environment and Forest Minister after the BJP returned to power in 2019.
Born Supriya Baral, he entered Bollywood as a playback singer in the mid-nineties and has sung for many films since then. He has also done playback singing in 11 Indian languages during his musical career.
Supriyo was among 13 federal Ministers who were dropped by Prime Minister Modi in the Cabinet reshuffle earlier this month -- some of the others being then Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.