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Actor cites lack of action on her letter to party leadership, which was ‘conveniently leaked’

Actor and Congress Lok Sabha candidate from Mumbai North Urmila Matondkar resigned from the party on Tuesday. The resignation of the actress, who had promised to stay the course with the struggling fortunes of the party in Maharashtra, has come as jolt. Several senior leaders have already quit the party and switched to either Shiv Sena or the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the run-up to the Assembly polls due in October.

‘Utter dismay’

Tendering her resignation to the party high command, the Rangeela actor said she was quitting after no action was taken on her recent letter to then Mumbai Congress President Milind Deora on the “lack of leadership and vision” in the party. The 44-year-old actor said that to her “utter dismay”, the letter containing privileged and confidential communication was “conveniently” leaked to the media, which according to her was an act of “blatant betrayal”. “Needless to say, no one from the party was apologetic or even concerned towards me for the same despite my repeated protests. Significantly, some of the persons specifically named in my letter for the shoddy performance of the Congress in Mumbai North, were rewarded with newer positions, instead of holding them accountable for their acts and omissions,” she said.

Reacting to her resignation, Mr Deora demanded action be taken against the rogue elements in the party. “After @UrmilaMatondkar decided to fight LS elections from Mumbai North, I supported her campaign wholeheartedly as @INCMumbai President. I stood by her when she was let down by those who brought her into the party. Fully agree that Mumbai North leaders MUST be held accountable!,” he tweeted.

‘In-house politics’

Ms. Matondkar, who lost to the BJP’s Gopal Shetty, said key functionaries of the Mumbai Congress are either unable to or not committed to bringing about a change and transformation in the organisation for the betterment of the party. This has led to organisational disinterest in the rank and file, she said. “My political and social sensibilities refuse to allow vested interests in the party to use me as a means to fight petty in-house politics, instead of working on a bigger goal in the Mumbai Congress,” she said. Senior party leaders said they had not accepted the actor’s resignation yet, party sources said.

Mega recruitment drive by BJP

In what could be termed as the next chapter in the mega recruitment drive by BJP, former Congress MLA and minister Kripashankar Singh, senior party leader Harshvardhan Patil, and former Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ganesh Naik will be joining the BJP on Wednesday. NCP MP from Satara, Udayanraje Bhosle too held a meeting with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on late Tuesday night.  Mr Naik, who single-handedly controls the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation will be joining the BJP along with 50 corporators which would mean the BJP will grab power in the civic body without winning the election.


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