Update on Aug 16, 01:49 pm ist
The former Assam MP wrote to party chief Sonia Gandhi late on Sunday evening saying she wished to ‘begin a new chapter in my life of public service’.
Former Assam MP Sushmita Dev has quit as the president of the All India Mahila Congress as well as the primary membership of the party.
In a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi late on Sunday evening, she said she wished to “begin a new chapter in my life of public service” and would always cherish “my three decades-long association with the Indian National Congress”.
Ms. Dev said: “Please treat this letter as my resignation from the primary membership of the Indian National Congress. I cherish my three-decade-long association with the Indian National Congress”.
“Madam, I thank you, personally, for your guidance and the opportunities you gave me. I value the enriching experience. I hope I have your good wishes as I begin a new chapter in my life of public service,” she added.
Ms. Dev did not respond to calls or messages, but her Twitter handle shows her profile as a former member of Congress and former president of its women’s wing.
A Congress leader in southern Assam’s Barak Valley confirmed her resignation.
Moving with eyes wide shut: Sibal
With her exit has once again raising uncomfortable questions for Congress’ leadership, Kapil Sibal on Monday charged his party with “moving on with eyes wide shut”.
Mr. Sibal, one of Congress’ group of 23 dissenters (G-23) tweeted, “Sushmita Dev 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”.
Asked about her resignation, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said he has been unable to reach her on phone and claimed that Ms Gandhi has not yet received her letter.
Describing Ms. Dev as friend who is versatile and talented, Mr Sujewala said,”I am certain she is mature enough to take whatever political decision that she takes with appropriate consideration of her history, legacy and capacities”.
May join Trinamool
There are speculations that Ms. Dev, who had represented Congress in Parliament from the Silchar constituency like her father and former Union Minister Santosh Mohan Dev, may join the Trinamool Congress. She is expected to meet West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata on Monday afternoon.
During the recently concluded Assam Assembly election, Ms. Dev had spoken out against her supporters being ignored during ticket distribution as well as seat allocation to Congress’ ally, All India United Democratic Front, in the Barak Valley.
Considered to be a close aide of former party chief Rahul Gandhi, Ms. Dev now joins the ranks of leaders like Jyotiraditya Scindia and Jitin Prasada, who left the Congress in search of better political prospects.