Priyanka Chaturvedi quits Congress, joins Shiv Senahttps://indianexpress.com/elections/priyanka-chaturvedi-quits-congress-joins-shiv-sena-5685172/

Priyanka Chaturvedi quits Congress, joins Shiv Sena

Priyanka Chaturvedi's resignation left the Congress red-faced and chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the incident was a “reflection on his leadership”.

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Priyanka Chaturvedi quit the Congress and joined the Shiv Sena in Mumbai on Friday. (Express photo/Amit Chakravarty)

Two days after the Congress reinstated eight leaders who had misbehaved with her, Priyanka Chaturvedi resigned as Congress national spokesperson and from the party Friday and joined the Shiv Sena. Her resignation left the Congress red-faced and chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the incident was a “reflection on his leadership”.

Sending her resignation to Congress president Rahul Gandhi and other leaders, she said: “In the last few weeks certain things have convinced me that my services are not valued in the organisation…I also feel that more time that I spend in the organisation will be at the cost of my own self respect and dignity.”

Earlier, Chaturvedi had said the eight leaders who allegedly misbehaved with her in 2018 in Mathura were “lumpen goons” and were still reinstated. On Friday she said: “What saddens me is that despite the safety, dignity and empowerment of women being promoted by the party and have been your call to action the same is not reflected in the action of some of the members of the party… This indignity to me has been the final factor to convince me to move on and focus on other things outside INC.”

Read | Priyanka Chaturvedi is like sister: Leaders accused of ‘misbehaving’ with her

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After Tom Vadakkan, Chaturvedi is the second spokesperson to quit the Congress in recent days. Like Vadakkan, Chaturvedi, too, was upset over being not considered for a Lok Sabha ticket, said sources. She was hoping to secure a ticket from one of the Mumbai seats.

Read | Priyanka Chaturvedi’s 10 years in Congress: From youth leader to party’s prominent media face

Hours after her exit, AICC communication department head Randeep Surjewala admitted it was a “reflection” on his leadership. At a press meet, he did not answer questions on the reinstatement of the eight leaders and directed the queries towards AICC general secretary in charge of UP West, Jyotriraditya Scindia, who recommended the reinstatement. Scindia could not be reached for comment. Click here for more election news 

“As I said earlier too when Tom (Vadakkan) saab left, every time a member of the Congress family, every single worker who leaves, it is a matter of pain for us. People look for career progression. We wish all of them well, including Priyanka Chaturvedi,” said Surjewala said. “I must frankly and on record concede yes, it is a reflection on my leadership,” he said.

Joining the Shiv Sena in the presence of Sena president Uddhav Thackeray at his residence Matoshree in Mumbai, Chaturvedi said: “As a Mumbaikar, I was attached to the party since my childhood. Every person connected to Mumbai and Maharashtra has some feelings towards Sena. I have joined the Sena without any conditions. And there is no change of mind in it.”

Welcoming her, Uddhav said, “Shivsainiks have got a good sister in the party. Considering her capability, she will be given an appropriate post and responsibility in the party that will benefit the country and the party.”

Asked if she was denied a ticket, she said it was true. “But that was never the reason (to quit)…When we talk about women safety, empowerment, we have to live by that within the house and outside,” she said.