Trinamool Congress nominated on Tuesday Sushmita Dev, former Congress leader, to Rajya Sabha. By-polls for six Rajya Sabha seats across five states, which have been vacant due to resignation or death of a sitting MP, will take place on October 4.
“We are extremely pleased to nominate @SushmitaDevAITC to the Upper House of the Parliament. @MamataOfficial’s vision to empower women and ensure their maximum participation in politics shall help our society to achieve much more!” the party tweeted.
Dev, who party workers said was in disbelief when the nomination was announced, said “What are you saying? I am overwhelmed. I am extremely grateful to Mamata di and Abhishek (Banerjee). I don’t know whether I deserve it or not, but I will do my best to take party’s vision forward. It’s great to see that she wants more women in Parliament.”
It has just been a month since Dev left Congress and joined TMC. She had earlier said she would undertake any responsibility given to her by the TMC and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
According to political analysts, Dev has been nominated to the RS as she had been campaigning in Assam and Tripura with the objective of expanding party’s cadre and influence in the northeast.
Another factor being TMC’s national ambition to outdo BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. With Dev being the former Congress spokesperson and the chief of All India Mahila Congress, TMC is hopeful that she could soon represent the party nationally under Abhishek Banerjee. Also, TMC is more vocal about women’s representation in Parliament which is where Dev experience would come in handy.
According to sources, Dev was reportedly expecting such a coveted post from her previous Congress party. Now that the TMC has nominated her for the RS by-polls, this will bolster her position in the corridors of power.