Urmila Matondkar joins Shiv Sena, praises Thackeray govt


Actress-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar (46) joined the Shiv Sena, in the presence of party president and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, his wife Rashmi Thackeray, and other party leaders at Matoshree on Tuesday afternoon. In a small ceremony, Rashmi Thackeray tied a saffron thread (‘Shiv Bandhan’) on Urmila’s wrist and inducted her in the party.

She is likely to join the state’s Legislative Council from the Governor’s quota. The state’s ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi—the alliance of the Shiv Sena, Congress and Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party—has already forwarded her name to Maharashtra Governor BS Koshyari, along with the names of 11 others. In the interim, the actress has been vocal on social media about Kangana Ranaut for comparing Mumbai with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK) and the nepotism issue.

She also criticised Kangana over her remarks on drug use in Bollywood. “You cannot cross a certain line, speak ill of an industry that has made you everything. If some people are taking drugs or are drug addicts, you have no reason to compare it to a mafia,” said Urmila. After this war of words, she became the choice of the party. Urmila had contested the 2019 general elections from the Mumbai North constituency but failed to win the seat.

Later, she quit the Congress, accusing party leaders of factionalism and working against their candidate. “It has been 14 months since I quit Congress and not 14 hours. There is a huge difference when people quit a party and immediately join another. But I think Maha Vikas Aghadi government has done a praiseworthy job in the state. They got only three months of normal working (before pandemic).

Uddhav Thackeray has steered the state very well. He shows strength where needed and speaks to us like a family member when required,” said Urmila.