“I am coming to the TMC office for the first time. Mamata Di is my idol, and thanks to her for accepting me into the party,” Dev said at a press conference on Tuesday, in the presence of TMC colleague Derek O’Brien. “Under Mamata Banerjee’s leadership, I will make her vision more powerful. Mamata Di’s work in Bengal is inspiring. Several schemes of the Bengal government are praiseworthy and the fighting spirit of Mamata Banerjee is known to everyone,” she said.
Dev said her relationship with Banerjee was not just political. “We have family ties.”
On her plans, Dev dished out the standard platitudes expected from the new entrants to any party. “I have not compromised my ideology in joining the TMC. My joining the TMC is unconditional and I will any responsibility given to me by Mamata Banerjee.”
Though her exit from the Congress has been speculated ever since she lost the last Lok Sabha polls and after the BJP run over the region she belongs to in Assam, the Dev camp tried to spin a political justification by saying the Congress stand on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and her old party’s alliance with AIUDF proved too much for her.
Meanwhile, O’Brien made it sound business-like on whether the TMC inducting Congress leaders would complicate ties with the latter.
“If there are talented people who share a similar vision and they reach out to us, we welcome them,” he said. Reaffirming that Banerjee would attend the virtual meeting of opposition leaders convened by Sonia Gandhi, he said: “In Parliament, you have seen the opposition working together. Everyone among them has a different relationship, but our goal is the same”.
Dev avoided any open criticism of the Gandhi family.