Photo: Priyanka Chaturvedi/Twitter
Photo: Priyanka Chaturvedi/Twitter

On Wednesday, around 45 newly-elected Rajya Sabha members took oath -- the first time that the new members have taken oath in the Upper House chamber when Parliament is not in session.

"Today’s oath taking has been organized to enable the newly elected members participate in the committee meetings which are underway at once and in the monsoon session which is to follow. I hope to nominate all of you on different committees in a day or two," Vice President M Venkiah Naidu tweeted.

Among the newly appointed MPs, there are several first timers, including Priyanka Chaturvedi, who quit the Congress last year to join the Shiv Sena. "Such an honour Sir, I look forward to working to the best of my ability with your guidance and support," she tweeted in response to Naidu's posts.

Going from media professional to political leader

Raised in Mumbai, Chaturvedi holds a degree in Commerce from the city's Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics. She began her career with a media company in the city. Chaturvedi was one of the Directors of media and public relations company, MPower Consultants.

Till date she remains a blogger and has lent a helping hand to many social causes. She is one of the founders of Prayas Charitable Trust which helps educate underpriviledged children.

Her media background and knowledge served her well when she joined the Congress in 2010. Soon, she was one of the party's spokespeople, eventually holding the post of Convenor - Communication of the All India Congress Committee and being the party's National Spokesperson. There were several other milestones along the way. She became the General Secretary of the party's Youth wing from North-West Mumbai in 2012, and in 2015, she was a part of a delegation of political leaders who were selected by the UK High Commission and Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK to visit London and understand their democracy.

Over the years, Chaturvedi became a well known face on media platforms, and has garnered quite the social media following. She had been vocal in her criticism of the opposition BJP, and has on many occasions called out leaders including Prime Minister Modi and Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani.

The switch to Shiv Sena

In 2019, Chaturvedi startled many when she changed political parties after nearly a decade. And while many debated over the reasons why, Chaturvedi remained undaunted. As she tweeted in response to reports the she had been upset after being denied a Lok Sabha ticket from the Mumbai North constituency, "last I checked, ambition is not a curse". Incidentally, she says that while she was disappointed, she was "not miffed" by the turn of events.

Other reports had speculated that Chaturvedi might have been angry over the reinstatement of Congress workers who had allegedly misbehaved with her in 2018 in Uttar Pradesh.

"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," she had tweeted on April 17, 2019.

A day later, in a later dated April 18, Chaturvedi resigned. "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," she noted in her letter.

Chaturvedi was welcomed into the Sena seemingly with open arms. The party had even noted that they were gaining a "good sister". She joined the party on April 19, in the presence of now Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. The same year, she became the Deputy Leader of Shiv Sena.

Even as she has a thriving political career to contend with, Chaturvedi has wears many other hats. She is a mother of two, and also an entrepreneur. Chaturvedi's linkedIn bio says that she had studied Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies from the Indian School of Business, and reports add that she had also been selected as a participant in ISB's 10,000 Women Entrepreneurs Certificate programme in 2010.

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Free Press Journal