The Congress and the BJP are waging a bitter war over a now-deleted post from Supriya Shrinate’s handle on actor and BJP nominee Kangana Ranaut.

To defend that derogatory post, the Congress dug up an old remark by Kangana Ranaut on Urmila Matondkar, another actor who is dabbling in politics.

Srinivas BV, president of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC), along with an earlier video of Ranaut talking about Urmila Matondkar, wrote on X, “What about you? Calling Urmila Matondkar a ‘soft porn star’ on live TV? Have you condemned it?”

The irony is that the Urmila Matondkar chapter is itself embarassing for the Congress.

Urmila Matondkar, an actor who started her decades-long career with ‘Masoom’ and gave hits like ‘Rangeela’ and ‘Satya’, joined the Congress in early 2019.

Like Kangana Ranaut, who got a BJP ticket from Mandi in Himachal Pradesh to contest the Lok Sabha election, Urmila Matondkar fought the 2019 polls on a Congress ticket.

Urmila contested from the Mumbai North seat and took on senior BJP leader Gopal Shetty. She lost.

Nirupam then shifted to Mumbai North-West constituency in 2019.

Mumbai North was a seat that veteran Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam won in 2009 but lost in 2014.

She left soon after, in September 2019.

It’s not like Urmila had planned a brief stay in Congress. At least, her speech when she joined the party in March 2019 in the presence of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi promised a long stint with the party.

“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,” Urmila Matondkar said.

However, that was not to be.

A political greenhorn, Urmila Matondkar, was promised full party help in the 2019 election. But she faced resistance from local Congress leaders during her campaign.

In her post-election letter to the Congress leadership, the actor-politician wrote that she fought the elections with sincerity and integrity, but it was local leadership that created hurdles and obstacles.

In September that year, just after five months in the Congress, Urmila Matondkar sent a terse resignation letter to then Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

“I hereby resign from Indian National Congress as a member and from any post held in the INC. I thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with the INC,” her resignation letter read.

Things got bitter from there.

After quitting from the primary membership of the Congress, Urmila Matondkar opened up over the “petty in-house politics” in the party.

“My political and social sensibilities refuse to allow vested interests in the party to use me as a mean to fight petty in-house politics instead of working on a bigger goal in Mumbai Congress,” she said.

Urmila was having problems with people close to Sanjay Nirupam and that could have been a factor in her electoral defeat from Mumbai North.

The actor said in a letter that the people she had named for “shoddy” performance of the Congress in Mumbai North were rewarded with newer positions.

She said she was forced to resign after no action was taken regarding her letter in which she had criticised Nirupam’s aides.

The content of Urmila’s letter was leaked to the media, and she was thereafter forced to issue a media statement.

The Congress is now bringing up an old remark by Kangana Ranaut in which she calls the ‘Rangeela’ actor a “soft-porn star”.

Urmila, after quitting her Congress stint, joined the Shiv Sena (now Shiv Sena UBT) in 2020.

However, Urmila Matondkar’s brief stint and hurried exit from the Congress also revealed all that was not well with the Grand Old Party, and digging up the past could actually boomerang on it.

The BJP has made the contest in Mandi, a Congress pocketborough, interesting by fielding Kangana Ranaut. The petty remarks will be left behind, all eyes will be on whether Kangana can snatch the Himachal Pradesh seat from the Congress, which won nine elections and a by-poll from Mandi Lok Sabha constituency.

Published By:

Sushim Mukul

Published On:

Mar 27, 2024

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