When Sushmita Dev visited her constituency in Silchar, Assam, on Thursday, for the first time as the member of Trinamool Congress (TMC), she echoed Mamata Banejee’s ‘Khela Hobe’, and assured people that her father, late Santosh Mohan Dev, the Assam Congress stalwart, and Banerjee’s ideologies were the same, and therefore, she would work with those ideals under the guidance of the West Bengal chief minister.
Dev, who was welcomed in Silchar as “nijer meye” (daughter of home), said, “We will do politics with decency. I have heard some violence took place here, which is not right… Khela Hobe… We will do long-term politics here… Mamata di is also trying for an alternative force and we will all work on that perspective.” Dev, who recently quit as the president of Congress women’s wing and joined the Trinamool Congress, stressed that Banerjee’s larger objective is to form an alternative front to oust BJP from the Centre.
With Dev joining TMC, it is expected that she will not jump the gun in Assam, and will wait and watch for the situation to present itself. However, she could play a national role in the party as Banerjee plans to advance in Tripura. Dev’s father Santhosh Mohan Dev is a big name in Tripura, and has been a seven-time MP in the state. He had won five times from Silchar in Assam and twice from Tripura.
It’s clear that TMC has done a rethink on its expansion plans and its strategy to take on BJP in 2024 Lok Sabha Elections. Instead of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, TMC is now focusing on unseating BJP in the northeast, and Tripura is at the top of this plan. Sushmita, with her experience as the president of Congress women’s wing and a street politician, can fit into the TMC’s plans.