New Delhi: Sharmistha Mukherjee, daughter of former president Pranab Mukherjee, Saturday announced her decision to quit active politics. With this move, she became the last leader from the Mukherjee family to abandon the Congress party.
Sharmistha announced her decision to quit in response to a Twitter user, who described her as a “good politician”. However, she noted that she will remain a primary member of the Congress party.
“Thanks so much, but no more a ‘politician’. I’ve quit politics. I remain & will continue to remain a primary member of Congress, but no more active politics for me. One can serve the nation in many other ways….” she wrote.
Thanks so much, but no more a ‘politician’. I’ve quit politics. I remain & will continue to remain a primary member of Congress, but no more active politics for me. One can serve the nation in many other ways….😊🙏 https://t.co/PjQAcnB39S
— Sharmistha Mukherjee (@Sharmistha_GK) September 25, 2021
Speaking to ThePrint, Sharmistha said her decision is rooted in the fact that she realised she is “not meant for politics” and wants to “spend time doing things she loves”. She denied that she will be joining any other political party.
Family had left the party earlier
In July this year, Sharmistha’s brother and Pranab Mukherjee’s son, Abhijit Mukherjee, a former Congress MP himself, shifted his allegiance to the Trinamool Congress (TMC). At the time, Sharmistha had taken to Twitter and wrote a cryptic “sad”, alluding to his move.
Then in August, Suvra Ghosh, former West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) general secretary and Pranab Mukherjee’s sister-in-law, joined the TMC.
After joining the Congress in 2014, Sharmistha contested only one election — the 2015 Delhi assembly polls, but lost to Aam Aadmi Party candidate Saurabh Bhardwaj.
In September 2019, she was appointed as a national spokesperson of the Congress.
She had been keeping a low profile for the last couple of years, after resigning from the post of communications head for the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) in February 2019. While she hadn’t expressed her grievances publicly, her resignation from the DPCC post had come just hours after the unit was revamped.
She also quit as the chief of the Delhi Mahila Congress in September 2020.
‘Need to do things more in sync with my core’
Speaking to ThePrint, Sharmistha Mukherjee said she is quitting active politics as she realised she is “not meant for politics”.
“Politics, especially opposition politics, requires a certain fire in the belly. I realised that I don’t have that and cannot continue in active politics any longer,” she told ThePrint.
The leader said that she wrote to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, as well as the party’s chief spokesperson, Randeep Surjewala, and Delhi leader Ajay Maken “a few months ago” to apprise them of her decision.
“I want to make it clear that I have no grievances with the party, and I am not leaving to join another party. I will continue to be a primary member of Congress. I just no longer want to be in politics,” she said.
The leader said she took some time off to reflect after her father’s demise in August 2020.
“I had not been participating in any political events for some time. But primarily after my father’s demise, I was feeling low and depressed. I took some time off to reflect and realised I need to do things that are more in sync with my core,” she said.
“I am 56 years old. I have hardly 10 active, healthy years of my life left. I want to use that time to go back to doing things that connect to my core like dance and art,” said Sharmistha, who is a trained Kathak dancer.
In 2018, she had dismissed all rumours of her joining the Bharatiya Janata Party, which had floated after her father accepted an invite to speak at an RSS event in Nagpur.