Trinamool Names Sushmita Dev To Rajya Sabha, DMK Poll List Out
Sushmita Dev joined Trinamool Congress only last month after having quit the Congress party.
The Trinamool Congress today nominated former Congress leader Sushmita Dev to the Rajya Sabha, saying it was West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's vision to "empower women". The DMK, on the other hand, named two of its own members to contest the October 4 bypolls, leaving no seats for the Congress party this time.
The Trinamool Congress tweeted announcing the nomination of Ms Dev, daughter of the late Congress leader Santosh Mohan Dev. A former Lok Sabha member from Silchar, Assam, the 48-year-old is a former President of the All-India Mahila Congress. She joined Trinamool only last month.
Her departure from "Team Rahul" was among a series of such desertions by people considered to be key members of the Congress leader's team in the party.
The Trinamool, however, has been quick to reward her after the shifting of loyalties.
"Mamata Banerjee's vision to empower women and ensure their maximum participation in politics shall help our society to achieve much more!" the party said in its tweet.
Ms Dev profusely thanked the West Bengal Chief Minister for the nomination and said it sends a strong message to the Northeast.
"I am grateful to our leader, Mamata di...It is not important that Sushmita has got it, but proves more women in parliament and is a strong message to the people of the Northeast that she has plans for northeast," Ms Dev said.
"I am a Bengali from Assam who has gone to Parliament...Mamata di has created history here. I assure my leader I will work hard. And special mention to Abhishek Banerjee also."
In Tamil Nadu, meanwhile, the ruling DMK named Kanimozhi NVN Somu and KRN Rajesh Kumar for both the seats that go to polls.
A doctor by profession, Ms Somu -- she shares her first name with her party's Lok Sabha MP from Thoothukudi and daughter of former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi -- is the daughter of another veteran DMK leader NVN Somu.
Mr Kumar is the DMK's in-charge in Namakkal East district and a part of the DMK Youth Wing.
These by-polls were necessitated after two seats were vacated by the AIADMK's KP Munusamy and R Vaithialingam.
While one seat's tenure extends till 2026 the other has only 11 months to go. DMK will give one Rajya Sabha seat to the Congress next year, official sources said, when six of them will go to polls in Tamil Nadu.
Congress leader P Chidambaram is said to be eyeing that one seat from Tamil Nadu. He is now a Rajya Sabha MP from Maharashtra but his tenure will end in 2022.
However, the Congress party's Praveen Chakravarty, too, is said to be lobbying.