Bollywood actor and Congress member Urmila Matondkar on Tuesday expressed displeasure over her "confidential letter" to party leadership being "leaked to media". In the letter, Matondkar had made scathing comments against trusted aides of her senior colleague Sanjay Nirupam, exposing an internal war within Mumbai Congress.
"At the outset, it's extremely unfortunate that a confidential letter containing privileged communication should be made public. There are issues to be sorted in every party. I've joined Congress with no personal interest/agenda except to serve my country," she said in a statement.
Matondkar, who unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha elections from the Mumbai North constituency, further said that she had addressed the letter at the behest of the Mumbai President with 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 election results or even the exit polls...showing only my integrity, sincerity and commitment to party interest," the Congress leader added.
Matondkar had written a letter to the party leadership criticising the conduct of Sandesh Kondvilkarand Bhushan Patil, close associates of Nirupam, a former Mumbai Congress president.
The letter is dated May 16, a week before the Lok Sabha election results were announced, and addressed to Milind Deora, Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) chief who announced his resignation from the post Sunday.
In the missive, she highlighted the failure of party leadership at local level on coordination, mobilising 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".
Matondkar said 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 Kondvilkar of calling up her family members and asking them for money to fund her election campaign. Kondvilkar also asked Matondkar's family members to speak to Congress treasurer Ahmed Patel for release of campaign funds, she claimed.
Matondkar also accused the duo of showing 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 better and brighter future for the party.
Matondkar said despite the hurdles, she managed to run a decent campaign and added she had highlighted certain issues with an intention to bring positive change in the party. Nirupam hit out at Deora after the letter became public. He tweeted, "young leader who desires to stabilise party at 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 election. Is this the way he is going to adopt to stabilise the party."
Meanwhile, Deora, in a statement, said, "A party and it's 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."