Urmila Matondkar resigns from Congress, blames ‘petty in-house politics’

"No one from the party was apologetic or even concerned towards me for the same despite my repeated protests," Matondkar said. (File/Express photo by Prashant Nadkar)

Almost five months after she joined the Congress, actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar resigned from the party Tuesday, blaming "vested interests in the party…and petty in-house politics." Matondkar had unsuccessfully contested her maiden election from Mumbai North Parliamentary constituency.

In a statement issued regarding her decision her decision to quit the party, Matondkar mentioned about her May 16 letter to then Mumbai Congress President Milind Deora in which she had sought action against the aides of senior party leader Sanjay Nirupam for misconduct. Matondkar alleged the party took no action despite her repeated efforts.

"First thought of resignation came to me when after my repeated efforts, no action was taken in pursuance of my letter dated 16th May, addressed to then Mumbai Congress President Mr Milind Deora," she said in a statement.

The letter, criticising trusted aides of her senior colleague Sanjay Nirupam triggered a war of words in the state unit of the party after it surfaced in the media in July, a few days after the resignation of Deora as Mumbai’s party chief.

In the letter, Matondkar had criticised the conduct of Sandesh Kondvilkar and Bhushan Patil, close associates of Nirupam. She had also highlighted the failure of the party leadership on coordination at the local level, mobilising workers at grassroots and failure to provide proper resources to her by the two campaign coordinators.

Submitting her resignation, Matondkar slammed the "blatant betrayal" after "the letter containing privileged and confidential communication was conveniently leaked to the media." "Needless to say, no one from the party was apologetic or even concerned towards me for the same despite my repeated protests," she further said.

Blaming the party for inefficiency in the Mumbai unit, Matondkar said, "the key functionaries of Mumbai Congress are either unable or not committed to bringing about a change and transformation in the organisation for the betterment of the party."

She also objected to the "rewards" given to party leaders in Mumbai North despite their "shoddy performance in the Lok Sabha elections." The party lost all the five seats in Mumbai in the elections.

"Some of the persons specifically named in my letter for the shoddy performance of INC in Mumbai North were rewarded with newer positions instead of holding them accountable for their acts and omissions," she said in her statement.

Concluding her statement, Matondkar said she "stands by all (her) thoughts and ideologies and will continue to work for people to the best of my capacity with honesty and dignity."