Sushmita Dev joins TMC day after resigning from Congress
A day after resigning from the Indian National Congress, Sushmita Dev on Monday joined West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress. Dev joined TMC in the presence of party national General Secretary and Banerjee's nephew Abhishek Banerjee and Rajya Sabha MP Derek O'Brien. Later, she met Banerjee in the state secretariat. Reportedly, Dev and O'Brien will address the media in Delhi on Tuesday.
Announcing Dev's joining on social media, the Trinamool Congress wrote, "We warmly welcome the former president of All India Mahila Congress Sushmita Dev to our Trinamool family! Inspired by Mamata Banerjee, she joins us today."
Dev—a former MP and the head of Congress' women wing—resigned from the party on Sunday. In her resignation letter to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Dev did not mention any specific reason for quitting. Dev said she cherished her three-decade-long association with the party and personally thanked Gandhi for her guidance. She mentioned beginning a "new chapter in my life of public service."
After Dev resigned from Congress, senior party leader Kapil Sibal hit out at the party's leadership. Sibal tweeted on Monday saying that the party is moving on with its "eyes wide shut." "While young leaders leave, we 'oldies' are blamed for our efforts to strengthen it," said Sibal, who along with 22 other Congress leaders had called for sweeping changes within the party.
Sushmita Dev— Kapil Sibal (@KapilSibal) August 16, 2021
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
Earlier today, multiple reports had stated that Dev is likely to join the TMC. A source informed The Indian Express that Dev may "play a national role" in the TMC, especially with the party aiming to make inroads in Tripura.
Dev was considered Congress' face in Assam's largely Bengali-speaking Barak Valley. She is also the daughter of former Union Minister and seven-time MP Santosh Mohan Dev. She was elected to the Parliament in 2014 from her family seat Silchar. Reports said Dev was miffed over the fact that half of these segments were given to the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF).
Rumors of Dev exiting Congress had first emerged in February when she had walked out of a party meeting over seat-sharing between the Congress and the AIUDF. At the time, she said she was "hurt," but "never wanted to resign." Notably, Dev's position on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) also opposed the party's. She belongs to the Bengali Hindu community, which largely supports CAA.
Congress has been facing a grave crisis as many of its leaders have deserted the party and joined the rival Bharatiya Janata Party. In recent times, at least two Assam Congress MLAs have jumped ship to the BJP: Rupjyoti Kurmi and Sushanta Borgohain. In July, two-term Lok Sabha MP and former Union Minister Jitin Prasada also joined the BJP ahead of UP Assembly elections.