Former Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi, who quit the party on Friday after the reinstatement of some party workers who had misbehaved with her, joined the Shiv Sena in Mumbai.
"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," Chaturvedi said after joining the Uddhav Thackeray-led outfit.
"Shiv Sena workers have got a good sister in Chaturvedi," party chief Uddhav Thackeray said during the press conference in Western Mumbai suburb of Bandra.
Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray too welcomed Ms Chaturvedi into the party in an event at the Shiv Sena president's residence.
"Not true that I quit Congress after being denied Lok Sabha ticket," she clarified.
Addressing a press meet, Chaturvedi said: “I have always been vocal about women empowerment and safety. But I was trolled and abused. My family was threatened. I was sad when I saw a few party leaders attack me. They were suspended earlier by the party. But by reinstating them later, I felt let down. I realised that I will fail several women if I continue."
"She has a fighting spirit and in her Shiv Sainiks have got a good sister," Thackeray added.
"She had very aggressively put forth her previous party's stand in national media and I'm sure she will keep doing so for the Shiv Sena as well," he further said.
"Being a Mumbaikar I've always had a soft corner for Shiv Sena," Ms Chaturvedi said during the presser.
"I had conveyed the ordeal I had to face to the party leadership. Yet, when the troublemakers were reinstated after being suspended, that hurt me more," she said while explaining her reason to quit Congress.
I am absolutely overwhelmed and grateful with the love and support I have got across board from the nation in the past 3 days.— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) April 19, 2019
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
In her resignation letter, Chaturvedi said, "In the last few weeks, certain things have convinced me that my services are not valued in the organization and I have reached the end of the road. At the same time, I also feel the more time I spend in the organization will be at the cost of my own self-respect and dignity."
The letter, copied to K C Venugopal and Randeep Surjewala, read, "What saddens me is that 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."
Chaturvedi, who quit from all the posts in Congress, sent her resignation to the party's top brass. She has also changed her introduction in her Twitter account where she had made a clear mention earlier about the posts she held in the party. She left the party's WhatsApp groups as well.
Earlier this week, Chaturvedi expressed her displeasure over the party's decision to take back some of its old timers who were expelled for misbehaving with her.
"Deeply saddened that lumpen goons get prefence [sic] in @incindia [Congress] over those who have given their sweat & blood," Chaturvedi tweeted in a strongly-worded post.
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
She further added: “Having faced brickbats & abuse across the 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.”
Earlier the Congress Committee of Uttar Pradesh had thrown out some of its leaders for their alleged unruly behaviour with Priyanka Chaturvedi in Mathura while she was attending a press conference.
However, keeping in view the ongoing election process, the party has decided to reinstate those leaders within a few days after a reported intervention of Congress national general secretary and western UP in-charge Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Chaturvedi had also been seeking the Congress ticket from Mumbai (North West).
She has been trending on social media for her "Kyunki Mantri Bhi Kabhi Graduate Thi" jibe at Union minister Smriti Irani, who is contesting from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh against Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
(With Inputs from ENS and Agencies)