SUSHMITA DEV LEAVING CONGRESS
All India Mahila Congress chief Sushmita Dev has resigned from the Indian National Congress on Sunday, 15 August. She joined the All India Trinamool Congress in party leaders Derek O’Brien and Abhishek Banerjee Today.
Sushmita’s exit has surprised many in the Congress as she was known to be one of the most prominent Rahul Gandhi loyalists.
She was highly proactive as the chief of the Mahila Congress and, in the past, have led a number of protests on issues relating to women.
REASON BEHIND HER EXIT?
There is an immediate reason and a long-term reason which led to Dev deciding to leave the party.
The Immediate Reason – Party’s Denial Making Her Tripura In-Charge
Dev was keen on becoming the party’s in-charge of Tripura and resigned as the Mahila Congress Chief.
Due to the fact that Dev hails from and has a Bengali Hindu Majority, Dev has an excellent understanding of Tripura since it being in adjacent to the parts of Assam.
However, Congress did not act upon her proposal. Close sources to Dev revealed that despite her requests, she got an icy response from the Congress’s General Secretary (Organization), KC Venugopal.
The party, however, did not act upon the same resulting in her leaving the party.
This appointment that she asked for meant a lot for Dev since she felt marginalized in her area of influence – Barak Valley in Assam. This relates to the long-term factor behind her exit.
During the Assam elections, Congress took a firm stand against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) to bring the anti-CAA sentiment into the Valley of Brahmaputra.
But the idea in the Barak Valley, where Sushmita hails from and belongs to, was entirely in favour of the CAA as many immigrants from East Bengal have settled there.
The Long Term Reason
Dev’s father, one of the Congress leaders – Late Santosh Mohan Dev – played an instrumental role in settling Bengali Hindu immigrants in the Barak Valley.
He then became a strong leader among this demography. He represented Silchar five times in the Lok Sabha, and then her daughter Sushmita won from the seat in 2014 in what was otherwise to be a flawed election for the Indian National Congress.
However, the decisive BJP in the Barak Valley strengthened its base with the Citizenship Amendment Act. The anti-CAA stand of the Congress harmed Sushmita Dev’s base there.
When top Congress leaders supported anti-CAA samosas during their rallies in Sibsagar, Sushmita Dev has declined as it would be politically embarrassing for her.
Then she was also not entirely in favour of the party’s alliance with the All India United Democratic Front, which Badruddin Ajmal led.
Dev had differences with the party’s choices even during ticket selection, especially in a couple of seats in the Cachar district.
Her prime concern was the alienation of Bengali-speaking Hindus from the party despite having a stable base for many decades in the country.