Mumbai: It is now official -- Rangeela Girl Urmila Matondkar has rejected the Congress offer for her nomination in the state legislative council from the Governor’s quota. However, Urmila, who took on Kangana Ranaut after she likened Mumbai with Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) has given her consent to Shiv Sena. The Free Press Journal had reported this story on Saturday.
Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar confirmed that Congress had offered her nomination in the Upper House but she has rejected it. “We contacted Urmila Matondkar and offered her nomination from Congress party in the state Legislative Council. But she refused, saying she was willing to run for the Rajya Sabha. Now, if she has accepted Shiv Sena's offer, then that is her personal issue. She has a freedom to accept or reject any offer,’’ he said.
Wadettiwar said Urmila had contested the Lok Sabha election on the Congress ticket and therefore had offered the nomination in the upper house. ‘’She is a Marathi and it is natural for the Shiv Sena to send her to the Legislative Council because of her stand against Kangana Ranaut, he noted.
Urmila preferred the Shiv Sena as she considered that the accessibility with leadership will not be a problem unlike Congress. Further, considering Congress party’s weak organisational set-up despite sharing power with Shiv Sena in the state, Urmila chose the latter which is currently engaged in strengthening shakha level network ahead of next BMC election slated for 2020.
Senior party ministers and leaders admitted that Urmila, who had quit the party in September last year, should have been contacted much earlier but no such attempt was made. She fought against BJP stalwart Gopal Shetty but lost in North Mumbai. A senior minister said Urmila would have been the best choice to take on BJP which is playing its communal card despite losing power in the state.
In her resignation letter to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, she wrote, ‘’ 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 Mumbai Congress."
Anguished by internal bickering Urmila had further said: “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 blatant betrayal. Needless to say, no one from the party was apologetic or even concerned towards me for the same despite my repeated protests."
Urmila will be Shiv Sena’s Marathi Mulgi who will be given a responsibility of reaching out to the people ahead of civic election.