The Congress in Assam today denied reports of its leader Sushmita Dev resigning from the party after she reportedly walked out of a meeting on seat-sharing for the state election.
“It has been brought to the notice of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee that speculative news about resignation of President, All India Mahila Congress Sushmita Dev is doing the rounds on television and web portals. We want to make it clear that Sushmita Dev has not resigned from the party,” Congress spokesperson Bobbeeta Sharma said in a statement.
Earlier, Ms Dev walked out of a Congress meeting on selection of candidates from a hotel in Guwahati, party sources said.
Her party supporters in hometown Barak Valley protested against Congress leaders who supported allotting more seats to ally AIUDF in Barak Valley.
The Congress-led “Mahajoth” or grand alliance has AIUDF, BPF, CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML) and Anchalik Gana Morcha as its constituents.
The three districts – Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi – in Barak Valley in southern Assam that skirts Bangladesh has a predominant Bengali population, religiously divided among Hindus and Bengali-speaking Muslims.
While the BJP had always had an upper hand in Barak Valley’s nerve centre Silchar town, the rest of the valley had an affinity first towards AIUDF and then the Congress.
The Maulana Badruddin Ajmal-led AIUDF is historically popular among Bengali-speaking Muslims in Chhar areas of western Assam and Barak Valley. The Congress is engaged in hectic talks to keep its own party workers happy as many have worked in this region since the time of former prime minister Indira Gandhi.
MS Dev’s father Santosh Mohan Dev, a tall figure in the region, had represented Silchar, the same that his daughter now represents, since 1980 and was a minister in former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s cabinet.
Sources said Ms Dev said though there were differences, she was sure those would be resolved soon.