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Congress leader Sushmita Dev quits party, joins TMC

NEW DELHI: The women’s wing chief of the Congress, Sushmita Dev, quit the party and joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Monday.

Dev joined the TMC in the presence of senior party leader Abhishek Banerjee in Kolkata and the Mamata Banerjee-led party welcomed her into its fold.

“We warmly welcome the former President of All India Mahila Congress Sushmita Dev to our Trinamool family,” the TMC said in a tweet.

A former MP, Dev was the national spokesperson of the Congress and the chief of the All-India Mahila Congress.

She sent her resignation letter to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, sources said, but offered no reason for her quitting.

In her letter to Gandhi on Sunday, Dev said she was beginning a “new chapter” in her “life of public service”.

She also changed her Twitter bio to a former member of the grand old party and a former chief of the Mahila Congress.

She said she is resigning from the primary membership of the Indian National Congress.

“I cherish my three-decade-long association with the Indian National Congress…. I hope I have your good wishes as I begin a new chapter in my life of public service,” Dev said in the letter.

The Congress, however, said Gandhi has not received any letter from her.

The chief spokesperson of the party, Randeep Surjewala, said he and other Congress leaders tried to reach out to Dev but her phone was switched off.

“I am unable to speak to her as Sushmitaji’s phone is switched off. We have tried to reach out to her.

“Sushmitaji is a very dear friend. She is extremely versatile, talented and capable. Sonia Gandhiji and Rahul Gandhiji have always appreciated it,” he told reporters when asked about Dev’s resignation.

Surjewala said Dev has a generational relationship with the Congress ideology and the Congress family and that “we treat her as a member of that family”.

“I am certain that she is mature enough to take whatever political decision that she takes with an appropriate consideration of her history, her legacy as also her own capacities. I only wish her the best for her future,” he said.

Soon after Dev’s resignation, another Congress leader Kapil Sibal said the party is moving on with its “eyes wide shut”.

“Sushmita Dev resigns from primary membership of our Party. While young leaders leave we ‘oldies’ are blamed for our efforts to strengthen it,” the former Union minister wrote on Twitter.

“The Party moves on with: Eyes Wide Shut,” he said.

Dev had met the Congress president, along with other leaders of the party’s Assam unit, only on Saturday.

Her Twitter account was temporarily blocked last week after she shared Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s picture with the parents of a nine-year-old victim of alleged rape and murder in Delhi.

 

Source: Press Trust of India

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