I am not joining any political party says Urmila Matondkar

Mumbai: Former Mumbai Congress leader and Bollywood actress Urmila Matondkar on Tuesday dismissed all political speculation that she will be joining the Shiv Sena, ahead of the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly elections.

"I am not joining any other party... request media not to share whatever they hear. It is unfair towards me to say the least, and also not appropriate towards any party," Matondkar said in a statement. Her clarification came in response to intense speculation in media circles of her next political step that after her abrupt departure from the Congress last week (September 10).

Several probabilities and theories were doing rounds. Some said she would join the Nationalist Congress Party, or Maharashtra Navnirman Sena -- with whose leaders she enjoyed a good rapport -- but the latest were bets were on Shiv Sena. The Sena predictions gained ground after reports that a senior Sena functionary had a detailed chat with Matondkar, but she has rubbished all rumours on this count.

Last Tuesday, stung by a web of intra-party politicking, Matondkar wrote to Congress President Sonia Gandhi quitting the party. Alleging "betrayal" by some sections of the Mumbai Congress, her move came after her letter dated May 16 to the former party chief Milind Deora was "leaked" in early July. In the letter, Matondkar had named certain key persons in the party's local units at the block- and ward-levels and other infighting which reportedly resulted in her maiden electoral loss in the Lok Sabha polls earlier this year.

On the contrary, she pointed out that the persons she had specifically mentioned in the letter to Deora for their "shoddy performance" in Mumbai Congress were rewarded with newer positions, instead of being held accountable for their acts and omissions. The popular actress had joined the Congress on March 27 and later unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha elections from Mumbai North against sitting Bharatiya Janata Party MP Gopal Shetty, who won by a staggering 4,65,000 votes.

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