Sexual controversies are not new for Congress

Hardeep Singh Bedi

New Delhi, April 20: The resignation of Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi has shocked the party, especially in Mumbai where the Lok Sabha polls are scheduled to be held on April 28.

Chaturvedi, who was also the convenor of the Congress' media cell, quit the party after some Congress leaders who misbehaved with her in Mathura were reinstated in the party by Jyotiraditya Scindia, Congress in-charge of Western Uttar Pradesh.

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These Congress leaders reportedly misbehaved with Priyanka during the press conference on Rafale deal in Mathura a few days ago. Even after the press conference, they followed her to her room.

Priyanka was furious after the incident and filed a complaint with the top leaders of the party, which suspended Ashok Chakleshwar, Umesh Pandit, Pratap Singh, Abdul Jabbar, Girdhari Lal Pathak, Bhuri Singh Jayas, Pravin Thakur and Yatindra Mukadam.

However, they were reinstated in the party by Scindia on April 15 after they gave a written apology. The reasoning of their reinstatement was that the party needed expelled leaders to win the Lok Sabha election in Mathura.

In her resignation letter Chaturvedi called out Congress' stance on safety and empowerment of women and said that the values promoted by the party are not reflected in the action of some of its members.

While welcoming Priyanka Chaturvedi in Shiv Sena, party Chief Uddhav Thackeray said that the Sena had got a new sister.

A woman politician couldn't have expected more who quit her old party to safeguard her dignity and safety.

There are many incidents wherein the Congress leaders have been allegedly involved in harassing women sexually.

Fairoz Khan, National President of Party's student wing, National Students Union of India (NSUI), had to resign last year in the wake of sexual harassment against him.

In 2017, a NSUI office bearer from Chhattisgarh had levelled charges of sexual harassment against Khan following which the Congress formed a panel to probe the allegations. In her complaint to the police, the woman had alleged that Khan used to sexually harass young women for political appointments in the NSUI.

In 2006, former Jammu & Kashmir ministers Ghulam Ahmed Mir and Raman Matoo were arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the infamous Kashmir sex scandal.

Then Mir was a Congress MLA and Matoo, an independent.

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The sex ring run by Sabeena had over 40 girls, who were allegedly supplied to security officials, bureaucrats and politicians.

Now, Mir is President of Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) and Matoo is an office-bearer of the JKPCC.

Senior Congress leader late Narayan Dutt Tiwari was involved in a sex scandal which depicted him in bed with three women at his official residence in the Andhra Pradesh Raj Bhavan. Tiwari was also involved in paternity suit a love child filed against him when he was well into his eighties.

Priyanka will definitely feel safe as a woman in Shiv Sena as Thackeray has given a message to party workers to treat her like a sister, but as a politician she will have to take extra steps as compared to the family-run Congress to adjust herself in the party where the word from Matoshree, the official residence of Thackeray family, is always final.

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