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Is Priyanka Chaturvedi's Move 'Opportunistic'? Cong Turncoat is Right to Question Party but Switch Raises Eyebrows

She is right in demanding answers from her parent party, but her move to the Shiv Sena, indeed, has shocked many who have agreed or disagreed with her.

Bhupendra Chaubey | CNN-News18bhupendrachaube

Updated:April 19, 2019, 8:44 PM IST
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Is Priyanka Chaturvedi's Move 'Opportunistic'? Cong Turncoat is Right to Question Party but Switch Raises Eyebrows
File photo of former Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi.

I once asked Priyanka Chaturvedi if she was a relative of online journalist Swati Chaturvedi. Both aggressive and sharp. And both of whom I admire. Priyanka shot back and retorted that this was the last time I had asked her this question.

Over the last four years, I can’t remember how many times Priyanka must have appeared on CNN News18’s flagship show, Viewpoint, hosted by me, to rebuke me, to accuse me of being a ‘bhakt’, of being totally one-sided and what else.

Most recently, when a TV debate got really hot between her and a BJP spokesperson, I got an official complaint from the Congress’ media cell. The media cell officer was at deep pains to explain to me just how deeply attached Priyanka was to the Congress idea and hence, could never take a frontal verbal assault on the grand old party lightly.

Reason why I am narrating these instances is to show that in today’s hyper-nationalistic and opportunistic politics, it is naive for anyone to expect ideological commitment from anyone. Ideology and present-day politics don’t go hand in hand.

Just like Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, a terror accused, is plain opportunism being practised by the BJP, Priyanka Chaturvedi, too, is using the oldest trick in the book. Political opportunism.

Before her, there was once a high-profile move away from the Shiv Sena to the Congress. That was Sanjay Nirupam, who is now one of the key candidates of the party from Mumbai. Another bright and erudite person who spent a long time with the Sena only to move out later, towards the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) was Rahul Narvekar. World has forgotten him.

Priyanka is much smarter. She is right to accuse the Congress of not being fair to her. She is right in demanding answers from her parent party. However, her move to the Shiv Sena, indeed, has shocked many who have agreed or disagreed with her.

Dear Priyanka, I do hope that we will still spar on TV. I do hope that there is some iota of ideological commitment that’s left in you.

Let me conclude with a candid comment she once made in the heat and dust of battleground Gujarat in 2017. While chatting up with her over a cup of tea, having tweeted a day earlier that I didn’t quite see the BJP losing Gujarat, she said, “Chaubeyji, uou don’t understand. But it’s important for the sanity of this country, that Modi is defeated in every possible way, in whatever way possible.”

Well 2019 isn’t 2017. And Priyanka Chaturvedi has clearly come a long way since then.

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