Priyanka Chaturvedi’s Exit Reflects on My Leadership: Surjewala
Priyanka Chaturvedi and Randeep Singh Surjewala.
Priyanka Chaturvedi and Randeep Singh Surjewala.(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

Priyanka Chaturvedi’s Exit Reflects on My Leadership: Surjewala

Hours after Priyanka Chaturvedi resigned as Congress spokesperson on Friday, 19 April, and joined the Shiv Sena, Congress’ in-charge of communications, Randeep Singh Surjewala, said her exit “reflects on his leadership.”

In a press conference held to slam BJP’s Bhopal candidate Sadhvi Pragya’s remarks on former Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad chief Hemant Karkare, Surjewala was asked about Priyanka Chaturvedi’s resignation, to which he said, “Every time a party member leaves, it's a matter of pain for us. People look for career progression. We wish all of them well, including Priyanka Chaturvedi...I must frankly and on record concede, yes, it's a reflection on my leadership.”

After quitting all posts in the party, Chaturvedi had sent her resignation to Congress president Rahul Gandhi and other senior leaders.

“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. At the same time I also feel that more time that I spend in the organisation will be at the cost of my own self respect and dignity,” Chaturvedi said in her resignation letter.

Earlier in the day, Chaturvedi, who was convenor of the Congress media cell, said she was miffed at the reinstatement of some party workers in Uttar Pradesh who had threatened and misbehaved with her during her press conference in Mathura a few days ago.

When asked about the same, Surjewala said, “I would ask my media friends to ask him (Jyotiraditya Scindia - Congress UP West General Secretary) this question.”

Also Read : Political Opportunism: Twitter on Priyanka Chaturvedi Joining Sena

Congress Failed to ‘Protect’ Priyanka Chaturvedi: BJP

The BJP, on Friday, 19 April, said there is "fear" among women since the Congress chose to side with its workers rather than a woman leader who was allegedly abused by them.

“Priyanka Chaturvedi had to leave the Congress after being abused by her own party workers. Instead of giving her protection, the (Congress) party protected its workers. This has created fear among women across the country, who are seeing this face of the Congress.”
BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari told reporters in Mumbai.

He added that not only Chaturvedi, but also other women leaders in the party (Congress) would not feel safe anymore.

Chaturvedi Opens Up on Her Exit

In a media briefing at Thackeray's residence 'Matoshree' in suburban Bandra, Chaturvedi said she gave 10 years to a party where she thought she could speak for the cause of women, despite being trolled on social media.

"I kept speaking in a 'bindaas' (fearless) way despite being abused and trolled constantly," she said. "I was pained when some party workers made comments about me. After being suspended, they were reinstated," she added.

Also Read : Priyanka Chaturvedi Joins Shiv Sena in Uddhav’s Presence

Chaturvedi said the statements made against her were ignored by the party (Congress), despite speaking for 10 years at a “great personal cost” and without joining politics formally.

"I was very let down. I thought If I didn't fight for my self respect, I would fail women. I have joined the Sena after a lot of thinking, and understanding my responsibility towards the cause of women," she said.

She denied that she had resigned from the Congress after being denied a ticket in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls.

"Parties keep fighting elections. However, only fighting and winning is not life. The work of party workers should be to accept an ideology and work towards the cause," Thackeray said.

Asked what post will Chaturvedi be given in the party, Thackeray said, "I will give her a post that suits her capabilities and one in which she would be beneficial for the Sena."

Chaturvedi said she would work towards strengthening the Sena not only in Maharashtra, but across the country.

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