Priyanka Chaturvedi, who was associated with the Congress for 10 years and was its national spokesperson, formally joined the Shiv Sena on Friday after tendering her resignation from the grand old party.
She was inducted into the party fold by Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at Matoshree.
Thanking Thackeray for inducting her into the party fold, Chaturvedi said that she will continue to raise matters related to women empowerment with Shiv Sena. The newly-inducted leader added that she will work for Shiv Sena across the country.
Asserting that she joined Shiv Sena “without any expectations”, Chaturvedi made it clear that her decision to join the party was influenced by her belief that “there is no party better than this where I can raise voices for women and the issues that matter to this city”.
“I know I will be held accountable for my past statements and my views and that how I came to this conclusion but I would like to say that this decision of joining Shiv Sena I have taken after a lot of thought,” she told the media at Matoshree.
Shiv Sena is an ally of the BJP-led NDA government and is contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Maharashtra on 23 of the 48 parliamentary seats in the state.
“I have always been associated with Shiv Sena in a way that I have been a Mumbaikar. I believe that Shiv Sena rules over all Mumbaikars, Maharashtrians,” she said.
When asked if she was seeking a ticket to contest Lok Sabha from Congress, Chaturvedi said that even though she was hopeful, she was clear that she won’t harbour any bitterness if denied.
“Yes, I was seeking a ticket and I was hopeful that I will be given a ticket. But there was never a doubt in my mind that if I didn’t get it there will be bitterness. My point is that when we talk of women issues, we have to live by it,” she said.
The former Congress leader asserted that she felt disheartened with the reinstatement of some people from her party who had allegedly misbehaved with her.
In a major upset for the Congress, Chaturvedi tendered her resignation to party chief Rahul Gandhi. She shared the letter on Twitter on Friday and also removed herself from the AICC media group on WhatsApp besides removing any reference to Congress on her Twitter bio.
In her letter Chaturvedi drew attention to the reinstatement of the Congress leaders, which she had objected to in a tweet on Thursday.
“Despite the safety, dignity, empowerment of women being promoted by the party and has been your call to action the same is not reflected in the action of some of the members of the party,” she wrote in the letter.
“In the last few weeks certain things have convinced me that my services are not valued in the organisation and that I have reached the end of the road. I also feel that more time I spend in the organisation will be at the cost of my own self respect and dignity,” she wrote in her resignation letter.
I am absolutely overwhelmed and grateful with the love and support I have got across board from the nation in the past 3 days.
I consider myself blessed with this immense outpouring of support. Thank you to all who have been a part of this journey. pic.twitter.com/WhUYYlwHLj
— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) April 19, 2019
In a tweet posted on Thursday, Chaturvedi had slammed her own party for reinstating “lumpen goons” who had allegedly misbehaved with her in Mathura. The Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) had suspended them on Chaturvedi’s complaint.
“Deeply saddened that lumpen goons get preference in @incindia over those who have given their sweat&blood. Having faced brickbats&abuse across board for the party but yet those who threatened me within the party getting away with not even a rap on their knuckles is unfortunate,” she had tweeted.
Deeply saddened that lumpen goons get prefence in @incindia over those who have given their sweat&blood. Having faced brickbats&abuse across board for the party but yet those who threatened me within the party getting away with not even a rap on their knuckles is unfortunate. https://t.co/CrVo1NAvz2
— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) April 17, 2019
The tweet also contained a 15 April AICC notification signed by Fazle Masood on the reinstatement of the suspended party workers.
The notice said that the suspension was revoked following the intervention of Congress general secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia, who is in-charge of the party’s campaign in western Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress has not issued an official statement regarding Chaturvedi’s resignation.