Sushmita Dev, former president of All India Mahila Congress, joined the TMC in Kolkata hours after resigning from the Congress party on Monday, in the presence of the TMC’s national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee. According to sources, Dev was disgruntled with Congress party and was observing TMC’s plans to make their way into the North East. TMC, meanwhile, was also said to have been searching for a bhumiputra from the northeastern states.
We warmly welcome the former President of All India Mahila Congress @sushmitadevinc to our Trinamool family!
— All India Trinamool Congress (@AITCofficial) August 16, 2021
Dev, after joining TMC, said, “Will give it all I have got,” in a tweet.
Party senior MP Kakoli Ghosh Dostidar said, “We really looking forward to work with her as she is an experienced leader.”
Sources also revealed that TMC had been in talks with Dev.
Dev had hit the headlines over her stance on Citizenship (Amendment) Act, which differs from the Congress party’s.
Dev had backed CAA citing that people in the Barak Valley are in its favour. She also sparked a row by refusing to wear the ‘no CAA’ gamosa. The leader had said that people in the region had seen the struggle of victims of partition and CAA would ensure Bangladeshi Hindus citizenship.
“…we know what it means to be a migrant. I am in favour of such a law, but this act [CAA] is not capable of granting citizenship to anyone. I would support it with some amendments, especially if it includes Muslims,” Dev had said.
Reacting to her resignation, Kapil Sibal, one of the dissenters, tweeted: “Sushmita Dev resigns from primary membership of our Party. While young leaders leave we ‘oldies’ are blamed for our efforts to strengthen it. The Party moves on with : Eyes Wide Shut.”
Shortly after quitting the Congress, the former Assam MP Sushmita Dev met TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee at his office in south Kolkata, fuelling speculation about her next political move.
A senior TMC leader said she might meet West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee later in the day. “Dev visited Abhishek Banerjee’s Camac Street office during the day and held a meeting with him in the presence of other senior functionaries. She may also meet Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at Nabanna later today,” the TMC leader said.
She is the daughter of seven-time parliamentarian Santosh Mohan Dev, and was considered the face of the Congress in Assam’s largely Bengali-speaking Barak Valley.
The former MP’s Twitter handle was also recently suspended by the microblogging site for violating its policy. The move came after Twitter blocked former Congress president Rahul Gandhi for posting a photograph of the parents of a nine-year-old girl who was allegedly raped and murdered in Delhi. In defiance, Dev and several other prominent Congress leaders changed their display picture to Gandhi’s and shared the same photograph.
(With inputs from Kamalika Sengupta)