Can't be used for in-house politics: Urmila Matondkar quits Congress
Actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar, who unsuccessfully contested Lok Sabha elections on a Congress ticket, resigned from the grand old party on Tuesday. The 45-year-old said she can't be used for petty fights within the party, at a time when the larger goal should be improving the Mumbai unit of Congress. Last week, Eknath Gaikwad was appointed as interim chief of Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC).
When she joined Congress in March, Urmila said she "believed" in the-then party president Rahul Gandhi and was here to "stay". The actress had stated, "I am here because I believe in the ideology of Congress and what the party stands for. I have not joined the party for the sake of elections." Further, she said she wanted to do something about unemployment.
Subsequently, she was given a ticket from Mumbai North, and Urmila managed to put up a decent enough campaign in just a couple of weeks. Party insiders were pleased with her outreach program, which involved going door-to-door. Nevertheless, Urmila lost to sitting lawmaker Gopal Shetty, who had in 2014 elections defeated Sanjay Nirupam, former chief of Mumbai Congress.
By blaming infighting for her decision, Urmila has confirmed what everyone in political circles knows by now- the Mumbai leg of Congress is going through a crisis. Milind Deora, who was the chief of MRCC resigned soon after Gandhi quit the post of Congress president. After he was replaced by Gaikwad, Nirupam called it an "appropriate" decision, claiming Deora failed to fulfill his responsibilities.
Interestingly, problems between Nirupam and Deora had been brewing before Lok Sabha polls, but then the party had other things to take care of. Deora was made the chief of MRCC, replacing Nirupam after his loyalists put pressure on the top brass. So, when Congress failed to win even one seat in Mumbai, the battle between both leaders further intensified.
Congress' failure to rein its leaders might prove costly in the upcoming assembly polls. While Congress' politicians are busy trading allegations, BJP and its ally Shiv Sena look solid on paper and seem prepared for the crucial elections for 288-seats of Maharashtra.