TMC’s nationwide ambitions might get a lift

Former Mahila Congress president Sushmita Dev’s entry might make stronger the nationwide ambitions of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) by way of some north-eastern States, particularly Assam and Tripura which have a sizeable Bengali inhabitants.

Ms. Dev, a former MP from southern Assam’s Silchar constituency, stop the Congress on Sunday evening and joined the TMC in Kolkata on Monday.

She later met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. “I had a fruitful discussion with the CM. She clearly has an excellent vision for the party and I hope to be helpful in that regard,” Ms. Dev mentioned in a video despatched by way of WhatsApp, indicating the function the TMC expects her to play in strengthening the occasion in Assam.


The TMC had prior to now 30 days made it clear that it had set its sights on the northeast, by befriending Assam’s firebrand activist-turned-MLA Akhil Gogoi, and sending senior occasion leaders to Tripura, to the seen annoyance of the ruling BJP there.

Mr. Gogoi mentioned he made two journeys to Kolkata to fulfill Ms. Banerjee after his launch from jail on July 1. “She has proposed a merger of her party with mine [Raijor Dal], but we are more interested in a political alliance,” he mentioned.

Mr. Gogoi wields affect in some pockets of the Assamese-dominated Brahmaputra Valley that’s geographically and psychologically separated from the Bengali-dominated Barak Valley comprising three southern Assam districts and 15 of Assam’s 126 Assembly seats.

One of the elements that introduced Mr. Gogoi near Ms. Banerjee was the TMC’s opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Ms. Dev, cautious of Bengali sentiments in Barak Valley, was allegedly ambiguous about this Act and was usually at variance with the Assam unit of the Congress.

Ms. Dev was thought-about the tallest Congress chief of Barak Valley, having taken over from her father and former Union Minister Santosh Mohan Dev.

A senior TMC chief in Kolkata mentioned the occasion was searching for a reputable face to increase its affect within the northeast, and there “cannot be anyone better than Ms. Dev who brings the legacy of her father with her”.

TMC MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastigar, who returned to Kolkata from Tripura on Monday, described Ms. Dev as an “able and hard working leader who has experience of working at the grassroots level”.

“Her departure is definitely a jolt for the Congress in Barak Valley. But the TMC must be clear on its policies for the issues of both Barak and Brahmaputra Valleys to ensure its future in Assam,” Jayanta Krishna Sarmah of Gauhati University’s Political Science division mentioned.

“The party never expected this [joining TMC] from her after having given her a lot of opportunities to grow as a leader,” Assam Congress spokesperson Bobbeeta Sharma mentioned.

Barak Valley Congress leaders mentioned the occasion will develop into stronger with out her. “She was working as a BJP agent and had distanced the minorities from Congress. She never allowed any other leader, whether Hindu or Muslim, to come up. Many who left because of her are returning to the Congress,” mentioned former Cachar district Youth Congress vice-president Anwar Laskar.

But there may be an air of hope in Tripura, primarily due to her father’s function in putting in a Congress authorities in 1988 and profitable the Tripura West parliamentary constituency in 1999.

“Tripura has a long association with the Dev family, and there is no reason why Sushmita cannot replicate her father’s success for TMC. Disgruntlement with the BJP-led government has already seen many people joining our party,” Subal Bhowmik, a former Congress veteran who joined the TMC a fortnight in the past instructed The Hindu.

TMC did present promise within the northeast by profitable one Assembly seat out of 23 it contested within the 2001 Assam polls. The occasion additionally made a mark in Manipur, profitable seven Assembly seats in 2013 and one in 2017. Most of the Manipur MLAs, nevertheless, defected to different events.

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