Mumbai: Is Priyanka Chaturvedi trying to be too clever by half? Party insiders say, both Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Rahul Gandhi had spoken to her personally.
Two days prior to her ‘saffron’ plunge, she had tweeted her deep sadness at lumpen goons who had been given preference in the Congress over those who had given their blood and sweat. It did seem momentarily that Chaturvedi, the articulate, telegenic spokesperson of the leading national party, had swung the nation’s mood in her favour.
‘Chaturvedi was shrewd to raise the issue of women’s security in a national party, but that was short-lived. On closer scrutiny, it seems other considerations were at work. A source had informed a few days prior, “Wait, she has been in talks with the Shiv Sena for the last few weeks and that is where she is headed.”
Voila, within a few hours, the news of her exiting the Congress and her entry into the Shiv Sena was confirmed by that party’s Member of Parliament Sanjay Raut. Social media users went ballistic – she had joined the Sena, a party that believes in the cult of violence, has shredded women’s reputations publicly, without mincing words.
Interestingly, both Chaturvedi and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray were twinning, possibly to put out a message of being ‘in sync’ and the past has been forgotten. However, many in the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Nationalist Congress Party have said this is a stop-gap arrangement. “She is on her way to the BJP, but since she has been critical of their leaders, obviously it will not gel with public perception.”
The fact is, in the journey from the Lok Sabha to the Vidhan Sabha elections, a lot can happen and most believe she will soon join the BJP. However, by late afternoon, the issue of women’s security was soon forgotten as the sentiment of being miffed was rather evident. Chaturvedi had made it clear to party leaders, she wanted a ticket from North Central. It irked her further when Urmila got one.
After being slighted thus, all doors were slammed on Chaturvedi by a party that does not take too kindly to such demands from upstarts. So, the sentiment within the Congress was: ‘Too much, too soon,’ referring to her rapid rise in the party. As a Congress leader said, “I have been an active politician in this party for 25 years. I have not been favoured and sent to the national level like she was and so fast.”
The few NCP leaders she did call on for help soon realised that with the rise in her stature, she too had changed. “Earlier, she would call for help, but this attitude had changed and it was evident as she became famous,” said an NCP leader. Many think her move is harakiri, but then there are no permanent friends or enemies in politics.