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Posted at: Apr 20, 2019, 7:05 AM; last updated: Apr 20, 2019, 10:18 AM (IST)

Blow to Cong as Chaturvedi quits party, joins Shiv Sena

Was miffed at inaction against workers who misbehaved with her
Blow to Cong as Chaturvedi quits party, joins Shiv Sena
Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray (L) and Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray (R) welcome Priyanka Chaturvedi into the party by tying Shiv Bandhan, at Matoshri in Mumbai on April 19. PTI

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19

The Congress suffered a major mid-election embarrassment today with the AICC media cell convener and national spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi quitting all party posts and joining BJP's Maharashtra ally, the Shiv Sena, in Mumbai.

Known for her fiery anti-BJP interventions, Chaturvedi resigned from the Congress accusing it of failing to practise the values of women's empowerment and dignity that it preached.

"The time that I now spend in the Congress will be at the cost of my self-respect and dignity," Chaturvedi said in her resignation to Congress president Rahul Gandhi days after the party reinstated a bunch of UP leaders who had allegedly misbehaved with Chaturvedi when she was in Mathura to hold a party conference.

“How would you feel if someone sexually harasses you at home and when you complain to your mother she tells you to keep silent and says the issue can be handled later?” said Chaturvedi as she joined the Shiv Sena in the presence of party chief Uddhav Thackrey. I have a natural connect with the Shiv Sena being a Maharashtrian, she said as she made the switch days after attacking minister Smriti Irani who is challenging Gandhi in the Amethi LS seat.

Chaturvedi dismissed any links between denial of Lok Sabha ticket to her by the Congress and the resignation and said she had worked in the Congress for 10 years without expectations of rewards but could not suffer indignity as a woman. 

“… what saddens me is that though safety, dignity and empowerment of women has been your call for to action, the same is not reflected in the action of some members of the party. A serious incident of misbehaviour against me by certain party members while I was on official duty has been ignored under the guise of all hands needed for elections. This indignity to me has been the final factor to convince me to move on and focus on other things outside INC,” Chaturvedi said to Gandhi, adding that she felt her services were no longer valued.

 Congress media head Randeep Surjewala, however, downplayed the development saying “we feel pain whenever someone leaves us but we wish everyone well because everyone has the right to career progression.”

Chaturvedi’s exit comes close on the heels of the resignation of Gujarat MLA Alpesh Thakor and another senior Congress leader from Kerala, Tom Vadakkan.

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