Urmila Matondkar's 'leaked' letter fuels feud in Mumbai Congress

Mumbai, Jul 9 (IANS): A May 16 letter by Bollywood actress-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar, now allegedly leaked to the media, has exposed a simmering feud in the faction-ridden Mumbai Congress and led to its top leaders attacking each other publicly here on Tuesday.

"After making a multilingual appeal to the workers not to quarrel against each other, the 'young dynast' has planted this news to 'stabilise' the party. The letter was written to him on May 16 and is leaked to media yesterday (Monday). Has he learned all this from his 'mentor' (Arun) Jaitley?" former Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam said in a sarcastic tweet, ostensibly directed at party colleague Milind Deora.

Deora's reaction was characteristically cool as he sought to downplay the issue, saying "the Congress Party has seen many upheavals and shall overcome this one too".

"Some unpleasant and unwarranted commentary from certain quarters should be ignored and not countered," urged Deora, who abruptly quit as Mumbai party unit chief on Sunday, barely four months after his appointment to the prestigious post.

Trapped in the sudden cross-fire over her "leaked" letter between city stalwarts, Matondkar, who had unsuccessfully contested as Congress candidate from Mumbai North in the recent Lok Sabha polls, on Tuesday said that "its extremely unfortunate that a confidential letter containing privileged communication should be made public".

"I have addressed the letter at the behest of the Mumbai (Congress) President with the sole intention to bring about betterment in the party. It is extremely significant to note and I wish to highlight that this letter was written way before the elections results or even the exit pollsa showing only my integrity, sincerity and commitment to party interest," she said in the statement.

In her letter, the actress had reportedly pointed fingers at two of Nirupam's aides Sandesh Kondvilkar and Bhushan Patil, accusing them of "total lack of coordination, honesty and efficiency, ensuring a disastrous outcome" in the elections.

She charged Kondvilkar of calling up her family demanding money for the campaign, advising them to ask Congress Treasurer Ahmed Patel for funds, besides the party failing to mobilise grassroots workers, lack of local level coordination and not providing her resources for canvassing.

Seeking disciplinary action against the Patil-Kondvilkar duo, Matondkar also appealed for organizational level changes to improve the party's prospects in future elections.

A senior party leader, not wishing to be identified, said it was "strange" that the letter should "leak out" immediately after Deora's resignation and his recommendation for a 3-member panel for the Mumbai Congress, which has been criticized by many, including Nirupam.

The Mumbai Congress has been ridden with factionalism since nearly four decades, even during the tenures of two former Union Ministers - Gurudas Kamat and Murli Deora - besides the so-called north-Indian lobby versus the others.

For this, insiders claim, the party paid a heavy price in the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation elections, the assembly and parliament seats in the city.

For instance, in a double whammy, in 2014 and 2019, the Congress lost all the six Lok Sabha seats to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena combine.




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Comment on this article

  • Vincent Rodrigues, Katapadi/Bangaluru

    Thu, Jul 11 2019

    These infights do continue till the party earns stability.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Niranjan Baba, Someshwara

    Wed, Jul 10 2019

    What she knows about poltics.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • Prashant Karkera, Hejamady

    Wed, Jul 10 2019

    Already a lot of infighting in Congress, even newcomers just joined a fortnight ago too started troubling....

    DisAgree Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

  • David Pais, Mangalore

    Wed, Jul 10 2019

    infighting becoz of few rss, bd,vhp mla's.1nce dey r out from congress da party will be pure graceful congress. unlike da brhasta jumla pirkis=bjp shiva sena daily fights with chaiwala's petta admin.

    DisAgree [34] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sanjeev Kamath, Udupi / Seattle

    Wed, Jul 10 2019

    What irrelevant things are you leaking here, David?

    DisAgree [2] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Prashant Karkera, Hejamady

    Wed, Jul 10 2019

    David, it is almost 50 days after 23rd May, you have crossed the normal healing period...

    DisAgree [3] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Nitin B, Karkala

    Wed, Jul 10 2019

    When Rahul Gandhi, Scindia, Deora and the likes are clearly saying that they have quit their posts taking 'RESPONSIBILITY' for the Lok Sabha defeat, I don't understand why some people are still blaming the EVMs?

    Don't you guys see the ongoing infighting in Congress in all the states, mainly; Parameshwar v/s Siddaramiah, Nirupam v/s Deora, Gehlot v/s Pilot, Kamal Nath v/s Scindia, Amrinder v/s Rahul, and the list goes on. They are themselves to be blamed for their shameful defeat and nothing else.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [25] Reply Report Abuse


    Tue, Jul 9 2019

    Congress will be history....

    DisAgree [9] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • Hussain, Kaup

    Tue, Jul 9 2019

    I guess congress can do booth capturing if voting done through ballot paper.

    So slaves demand ballot paper voting

    DisAgree [5] Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

  • Avinash, Mangalore

    Tue, Jul 9 2019

    Ideally Urmila should have fought with her real legal name Maryam Akthar Mir. she would have perhaps won.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Tue, Jul 9 2019

    BJP can never win with Ballot Paper ...

    DisAgree [58] Agree [46] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sudhakar, Kallianpur

    Tue, Jul 9 2019

    I doubt you own resort and sea facing villas. Person of such caliber never comment the way you commenting!!!

    DisAgree [7] Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

  • Hussain, Kaup

    Tue, Jul 9 2019

    And u never become normal

    DisAgree [8] Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

  • dhanesh, Udupi/Mumbai

    Wed, Jul 10 2019

    Better go and repair your kopdee

    DisAgree [5] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dhanesh, Udupi/Mumbai

    Wed, Jul 10 2019

    So that congai goons can capture the voting booths to access ballot paper...

    DisAgree [3] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • vikram Rao, Udupi

    Tue, Jul 9 2019

    This is not true... it’s all because of EVM

    DisAgree [28] Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

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Title : Urmila Matondkar's 'leaked' letter fuels feud in Mumbai Congress


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