Kolkata: Even as Union Home Minister Amit Shah completed his two-day West Bengal tour, the ramifications were felt in a political household with the husband -- BJP MP Saumitra Khan sending a divorce notice to wife Sujata Mondal (Khan) for defecting to the Trinamool Congress.
Saumitra Khan, a Trinamool turncoat, is the chief of BJP's youth wing in Bengal. When he won the 2014 parliamentary election from Bishnupur, the credit went to his wife of ten years’ standing, Sujata.
She ran his campaign single-handedly and helped him win when he was barred by a court from entering his constituency as a condition for bail in a criminal case.
But on Monday a miffed Khan wept on TV and said "politics had ended his marriage;" the divorce papers were on the way, he said with a degree of finality.
But Sujata has a different take on why she had joined the TMC. “As a political activist I campaigned single-handedly for my husband. But I did not get due respect in the BJP. So, I have joined the Trinamool Congress to work under Mamata Didi and Abhisekh Banerjee (former’s nephew).
‘‘I want to breathe. I want respect. I want to be an able leader of an able party. I want to work with my beloved Didi," the former teacher told reporters. She also complained that "newly inducted, misfit and corrupt leaders" were getting more importance in the BJP -- a possible reference to the rebels who have recently joined the BJP.
At the same time, she asserts she still loves her husband and believes that a political party and its ideology ‘‘cannot separate us.’’
Sujata joined Trinamool Congress in the presence of TMC Lok Sabha MP Sougata Roy and Trinamool Congress spokesperson and former Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh.
Sujata feels that all corrupt leaders are being enticed by the BJP with the lure of posts. The day Saumitra (her husband) realizes his mistake, he will also return to the Trinamool Congress fold.
According to party insiders, Sujata is miffed over Suvendu's induction in the BJP; time and again, she had called him 'an opportunist'.
Incidentally, Saumitra started his political career with the Congress and was elected as a candidate in 2011. Then, in 2013, he defected to the TMC and became the Member of Parliament from Bishnupur; he was re-elected from the same constituency after he joined the BJP in 2019.
On Saturday, the Trinamool suffered the worst exodus in its history as over 60 leaders, including an MP and half a dozen MLAs, crossed over to the BJP. Sujata’s re-entry could bring some solace to the party.