Actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar said that after her induction into the Congress party, she has been trolled a lot on social media, however, ‘she is here to stay’.
Matondkar recently joined the party and is contesting from Mumbai-North Lok Sabha constituency which is currently held by the BJP. She said that these elections will decide where the country goes and if democracy in the country will be saved.
Pitted against the BJP MP Gopal Shetty, Matondkar said, "I have never left anything incomplete, be it studies or career. The decision to join politics was well thought of and I will give more than 100 percent to it. My intentions are clear."
Speaking to the media about the criticism she faces, she added that she also had to face negativity, dirt and filth.
"Women should understand they need to have nerves of steel to be in politics. I understand the criticism but have had to face negativity, dirt and filth. I have not played the victim card in all these days. I am here to stay," she said.
Matondkar said that she believes in freedom of expression and has nothing against people chanting anybody's name, referring to a recent incident in suburban Borivali when a scuffle broke out Congress and BJP workers during her rally.
"But the way the scene unfolded later was unacceptable and appalling. This is politics of hatred and negativity. Violence is not always physical but also at a mental level. After joining politics I have faced tremendous trolling (on social media) and personal attacks," the actor-turned-politician said.
Furthermore, the newly inducted Congress candidate said that when she returned to Mumbai after formally joining the party in Delhi, she was shocked to find a hostile media.
"I was taken aback by the kind of questions asked. Having a huge career of 27 years and making a name for myself as a film star, I never faced such negativity," the ‘Rangeela’ actor said.
Matondkar further asserted that her decision to join a party which is out of power showed her integrity.
"Today, the society is driven by fear. The film industry is very vulnerable. After a huge career and making a name, when people voice opinions about their children's well-being, they are asked to go to another country. I fail to understand when we stooped so low," she said.
"This Lok Sabha poll is not just an election but will decide in which direction the country is going and will the democracy be saved," she added.
On being asked about the film industry's support for her poll campaign, Matondkar said, "Some of my colleagues messaged me and congratulated me."
When asked about the Congress's minimum income guarantee scheme, 'Nyay', Matondkar said it is not just about giving money to the poor but mobilising the economy.
Under the scheme, the Congress has promised to give Rs 72,000 per year as minimum income to the poorest 20 per cent families of the country if it is voted to power in the Lok Sabha polls.
Matondkar will be making her electoral debut with the April 29 polling in Mumbai North.
(With PTI inputs)