Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Sushmita Dev, who was nominated by the party for the Upper House bypoll, said on Tuesday that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has serious intentions for the Northeast, claiming that no Bengali from Assam has gone to the Rajya Sabha in decades.
‘I am extremely grateful to my leader, Mamata Di that she has given me an opportunity to file nomination and contest the Rajya Sabha election. It is not important that Sushmita Dev has got it. There are a couple of messages in it,’ the TMC leader told a leading daily, adding, ‘First, the Trinamool Congress once again proved that more women in Parliament are their vision and conviction. Secondly, Mamata Di has given a strong message to the Northeast by giving someone from the region a chance to contest the Rajya Sabha election where West Bengal MLAs will be voting. It means she has serious plans for the Northeast. And, I also cannot deny the fact that for many decades no Bengali from Assam has gone to the Rajya Sabha.’
When asked about the Tripura government’s reported denial of permission for TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee’s padyatra, Dev said emphatically that the BJP administration in the state is terrified of Abhishek’s charm and resolve. ‘That is the single reason they are consistently denying Abhishek’s padyatra. We want to see how long the BJP government will be keeping a tiger-like Abhishek Banerjee out of Tripura.’
The TMC nominated Dev, who just joined the party, as its candidate for the Rajya Sabha by-poll in West Bengal on Tuesday. Sushmita Dev, a former Congress MP from Assam’s Silchar, joined the TMC last month in the presence of party leader Abhishek and others.