The rift within in the Mumbai Congress has been more apparent after a letter written actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar making scathing comments against trusted aides of her senior colleague Sanjay Nirupam was publicised on Monday.
Reportedly, Urmila Matondkar, who had unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha elections from the Mumbai North constituency, had written a letter dated May 16 to the party leadership criticising the conduct of close associates of Sanjay Nirupam – Sandesh Kondvilkar and Bhushan Patil.
#Mumbai: Congress leader Urmila Matondkar on May 16 wrote to party leader Milind Deora stating ” issues like failure of party leadership at local level and infighting created hurdles and obstacles in my entire political campaign.” (file pic) pic.twitter.com/U7m9XYdEEA
— ANI (@ANI) July 9, 2019
Urmila Matondkar had reportedly written a letter to Milind Deora, Chief of Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) just a week before the Lok Sabha election results were announced. Milind Deora has now announced his resignation from the post on Sunday after Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s resigned from the post of party president.
In her letter, the former Bollywood actress had shared her grievance by highlighting the failure of party leadership at the local level on coordination, organising workers at grassroots, failure to provide proper resources to her by the two campaign coordinators. The actress-politician accused the duo of showing a “total lack of coordination, honesty and efficiency, ensuring a disastrous outcome”.
Urmila Matondkar also said that the joint poll rally addressed by senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and NCP chief Sharad Pawar in suburban Borivali in April was organised in an “extremely shoddy” manner, bringing huge personal embarrassment for her.
In the letter, the 45-year-old Congress politician accused Nirupam’s aide Kondvilkar of calling up her family members and asking them for money to fund her election campaign. Matondkar alleged that Kondvilkar had asked her family members to speak to Congress treasurer Ahmed Patel for release of campaign funds.
She also claimed that the close aides of Nirupam also showed disrespect to North Mumbai district Congress president Ashok Sutrale. She sought disciplinary action against Kondvilkar and Patil and demanded changes at the organisational level to ensure a better and brighter future for the party.
In her letter, she said that she managed to run a decent campaign despite such difficulties and added she had highlighted certain issues with an intention to bring positive change in the party.
In reaction to Urmila’s letter, Sanjay Nirupam has now hit out at Milind Deora indirectly. He tweeted, “Young leader who desires to stabilise party at the national level has released copies of complaint letter of an LS candidate to media houses to publish it. It was addressed to him against party workers after the election. Is this the way he is going to adapt to stabilise the party?”
Responding to Urmila’s letter, Milind Deora, in a statement, said, “A party and its ideals are bigger than one individual. Some unpleasant and unwarranted commentary from certain quarters should be ignored and not countered. The Congress party has seen many upheavals and shall overcome this one too.”
Interestingly, both Milind Deora and Sanjay Nirupam lost the Lok Sabha elections from South Mumbai and Mumbai North West, respectively in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections along with Urmila Matondkar this year.
During her election campaign, Urmila Matondkar had stoked controversy when she had said that she has joined Congress because the ‘religion which is known for its religious tolerance has turned out to be the most violent religion of them all’.