Politics

Sushmita Dev quits Congress and joins Trinamool Congress

Published : August 16, 2021 19:24 IST

Abhishek Banerjee,Trinamool Congress national general secretary, welcomes Sushmita Dev to the Trinamool Congress, in Kolkata on August 16. Photo: PTI

In a major political development, Sushmita Dev, former Congress MP and president of the All India Mahila Congress, left the Congress and joined the Trinamool Congress in the presence of Trinamool all-India general secretary and Lok Sabha MP Abhishek Banerjee in Kolkata on August 16.

In a major political development, Sushmita Dev, former Congress MP and president of the All India Mahila Congress, left the Congress and joined the Trinamool Congress in the presence of Trinamool all-India general secretary and Lok Sabha MP Abhishek Banerjee in Kolkata on August 16. A former Lok Sabha MP from Silchar, Assam, and daughter of the late Congress leader Santosh Mohan Dev, she was known to be a close aide of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.

Addressing the media before returning to Delhi, Sushmita Dev said, “I had the opportunity to meet Abhishek Banerjee…. He has excellent vision and clarity for the party; and after that all three of us (Rajya Sabha MP Derek O Brien, Abhishek Banerjee and Sushmita Dev) went to meet the hon’ble Chief Minister of West Bengal at her office. There was an excellent discussion. Clearly, she has an excellent future vision for the party and I hope to be helpful in that regard.”

Soon after her joining the party, the Trinamool Congress posted in its official Twitter handle: "We warmly welcome the former President of All India Mahila Congress @sushmitadevinc to our Trinamool family! Inspired by @MamataOfficial, she joins us today in the presence of our National General Secretary @abhishekaitc & Parliamentary Party Leader, Rajya Sabha, @derekobrienmp." With the Trinamool Congress trying to extend its influence outside Bengal, and already making moves in Tripura, Sushmita Dev is expected to play a key role in the party’s expansion plans in the Northeastern region. Santosh Mohan Dev was a two-time MP from Tripura West and once from Silchar.

In her resignation letter addressed to Sonia Gandhi, president of the All India Congress Committee, Sushmita Dev wrote, “I cherish my three decade long association with the Indian National Congress. May I take this opportunity to thank the party, all its leaders, members and workers who have been a part of my memorable journey. Madam, I thank you, personally, for your guidance and the opportunities you gave me. I value the enriching experience. I hope I have your good wishes as I begin a new chapter in my life of public service.”

The move came as shock to many of the top leaders of the Congress. Manish Tewari, MP and national spokesperson for the party, said on social media: “If this is true it is most unfortunate. Why @sushmitadevinc? Your erstwhile colleagues & friends especially the person who was National President of @nsui when you contested your first @DUSUofficial elections back in 1991 deserve a better explanation than this laconic letter?” Former Union Minister and senior party leader Kapil Sibal, in a scathing message against his own party, said, “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.”

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