Kolkata: It is a bolt from the blue or did the Congress High Command know it was coming? The voluntary exit of Sushmita Dev from the age-old party has exposed the cracks in the rank and file of Congress. She has now joined Trinamool Congress.
Sushmita, (daughter of Santosh Mohan Dev, a former Union minister and a Gandhi loyalist) who reportedly resigned on grounds of her resentment at the party’s debacle in the Assam elections, writes in her letter to the interim Congress chief Sonia Gandhi that she is set to start a new innings in public life.
There are reports that she may join the Trinamool Congress and be the party’s face in Assam. First, it was former President Pranab Mukherjee’s son Abhijit Mukherjee and now it’s Sushmita who has shifted loyalty to TMC. Plenty to worry about?
Accepted, but why quit the party? To be honest, Sushmita’s disenchantment adds to the long list of Congress leaders who are sulking but unfortunately instead of placating them, the High Command prefers to look the other way.
There are fissures in Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Rajasthan, but the Gandhis are least bothered to address the grievances of the angry lot. Surprisingly, they are happy pampering the rebels who are up and against senior leaders — the continuous dissent in Punjab with CM Amarinder Singh and state chief Navjot Singh Sidhu not seeing eye to eye is a glaring example.
Despite Singh’s appeal to Sonia Gandhi to ask Sidhu not to hurl diatribes at governance, the Congress chief hasn’t moved a bit. Similarly, in Karnataka, the subtle war between former CM Siddaramaiah and state Congress president D Shivashankar is doing no good to the party’s prospects.
Sushmita, like her father, has stayed loyal to the party and most importantly, the family which matters. But her resignation has caught many by surprise. Similarly, Sachin Pilot is no pleased man and if not pacified, may turn against the party like Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Former Union minister Kapil Sibal, a member of the G-23 group has taken swipes at the party over Sushmita’s resignation. “The party moves on: with Eyes Wide Shut,” he wrote on Twitter. And he cannot be blamed!
Sushmita joining TMC, is a stern message from West Bengal CM Mamta Banerjee that her popularity can take a toll on the Congress. She seems to be on course to be the Opposition face against BJP with even some Congress leaders quite categorical on their loyalty to her.
There is a crisis within the party with even erstwhile Gandhi fanatics openly expressing their ire, but 10, Janpath (residence of Sonia) seems to be indifferent. Do we trust such a party to lead a National Front to challenge the BJP? No way!