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Saturday 25 January 2020

Urmila Matondkar quits Congress due to ‘petty politics’

The actress-turned-politician observed that the key functionaries of the Mumbai Congress are either unable to or are not committed to transforming the party

Mumbai: The election fever is gone. Celebrities who couldn’t win seem to have a second thought, as suggests comments by some in the opposition who are finding merit in what the government is doing. But quitting is an extreme step that actress-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar Mir has taken. On Tuesday, she announced her resignation from the Congress within six months of joining it and unsuccessfully contesting the maiden Lok Sabha election, owing to “petty in-house politics”.

The announcement by Matondkar Mir, who had bagged 2,41,431 votes across six segments of the Mumbai North seat, came as a huge embarrassment for the Congress which is struggling to keep its flock together ahead of the Maharashtra assembly polls, slated to be held next month.

Matondkar Mir, who joined the Congress in March this year, was defeated by BJP stalwart Gopal Shetty in the polls.

In a statement, Matondkar Mir observed that the key functionaries of the Mumbai Congress are either unable to or are not committed to transforming the party. “I have resigned from the Indian National Congress. My political and social sensibilities refuse to allow vested interests in the party to use me as a mean to fight petty in-house politics instead of working on a bigger goal in Mumbai Congress,” she said.

Matondkar Mir said the first thought of resignation came to her mind when she realised that “no action” was being taken despite her “repeated efforts” on her letter dated 16 May addressed to the then Mumbai Congress president Milind Deora.

In her letter, Matondkar Mir had criticised the conduct of Sandesh Kondvilkar and Bhushan Patil, close associates of Sanjay Nirupam, a former Mumbai Congress president. “Thereafter, to my utter dismay, the letter containing privileged and confidential communication was conveniently leaked to the media, which according to me was an act of a blatant betrayal. Needless to say, no one from the party was apologetic or even concerned towards me for the same despite my repeated protests,” she said.

Matondkar Mir claimed some of the persons named in her letter for the “shoddy performance” of the Congress in the Mumbai North contest were “rewarded with newer positions” instead of fixing responsibilities. “It is obvious that the key functionaries of the Mumbai Congress are either unable or not committed to bring (sic) about a change and transformation in the organisation for (the) betterment of the party,” she said.

Matondkar Mir’s statement is silent on her next political move. However, she added that she stood by her “thoughts and ideologies” and would continue to work for the people “with honesty and dignity”.

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