from our Special Correspondent
Silchar, Aug 9: The visit of Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, Minister of Fince, Education and Health, to the Tarapur residence of Santosh Mohan Dev, former Union Minister, who expired a few days back, on Tuesday to convey his condolence to Bithika Dev, his wife, and daughters, Sushmita Dev, Bhaswati Dev, Tapoti Dev and Bharati Dev, as well as other members of the bereaved family has injected a sense of speculation about a sort of political equation. Along with Sarma were present Parimal Suklabaidya, Minister of PWD, Excise and Fisheries, Kishore th, MLA Borkhola, Dr. Rajdeep Roy, state spokesperson, Kaushik Rai and Kad Purkayastha, frontline leaders.
During his brief and exclusive talks with Sushmita Dev, MP Silchar, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma is reported to have discussed many issues. Though media-persons were not allowed inside, a source said Sushmita expressed her gratefulness to Dr. Sarma for campaigning and extending all possible help during her parliamentary elections in 2014. She also regretted that he eventually left Congress to join BJP. This reply of Sushmita, an inside source said, prompted Dr. Sarma to quip ‘options are now open before you’. As soon as the information about what transpired between them went viral among the media-persons waiting outside, speculative news hit the headlines.
Beyond the confines of media, political circles and citizens in general started reading more than what the sigl has gone out. It has become the matter of discussion if Sushmita Dev has some other thinking in view of the weakening of the Congress and its sinking base among people across the country. During the last assembly elections, among the 7 constituencies of Cachar district, Congress could win only 1 seat. The demise of her father Sontosh Mohan Dev who was the pillar of strength for the party and a great political force has no doubt created a vacuum.
Is Sushmita really serious to change her mind? Those who were present with Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma at the residence of Sontosh Mohan Dev preferred to dismiss any speculation. As Dr. Rajdeep Roy said, “This is going too far to say that Sushmita, a strong hand of Rahul Gandhi and very close to Sonia Gandhi, besides being a fiery fighter in all odds, would have some other thought than her own party.” The question is even if the speculation is set aside and it is accepted Sushmita will switch over her political loyalty, how and where is she to be rehabilitated?
Though the 2019 parliamentary elections are still a long way to go, it is more or less certain that Dr. Rajdeep Roy among other aspiring BJP candidates for Silchar MP seat is the preferential choice of the top decision makers of the saffron party. From all reckoning, Sushmita Dev has been striving hard to fill up the void created after the demise of her father. Without any exaggeration, she is now the centre of power in Congress headquarters of Cachar, Indira Bhawan. This has been further strengthened by her being close to the central and the state leadership of the party.
In addition to it, Sushmita won the Lok Sabha election of 2014, defeating the BJP heavyweight Kabindra Purkayastha, former Union Minister, who had outwitted her father Santosh Mohan Dev in 2009. It was like taking revenge against the defeat of her father. Considered against this backdrop, Sushmita would never desert the party which has been the traditiol political platform of her family starting from her grandfather Satindra Mohan Dev. Moreover, her mother Bithika Dev was the chairperson of Silchar Municipal Board and MLA from Silchar.