Congress Approaches Urmila Matondkar To Contest Lok Sabha Elections, 'Rangeela' Star To Speak To Rahul Gandhi: Sources

Written By Chetna Kapoor | Mumbai | Published:

The Congress party appears to have zeroed in on Urmila Matondkar to be its candidate for the Mumbai North Lok Sabha seat, a day after Sanjay Nirupam was nominated as the party's candidate from the Mumbai North-West Lok Sabha constituency.

According to sources, Congress has approached the 'Rangeela' actress to contest from Mumbai North  - a seat from where Nirupam lost to BJP's Gopal Shetty in 2014 by over four lakh votes.

Matondkar is likely to decide on whether she will take up the Congress ticket following either a face-to-face meeting or video conference with Congress president Rahul Gandhi, sources added.

Interestingly, this is not the first time the Congress has approached a celebrity to bolster its chances in the Mumbai North constituency. In 2004, actor Govinda won against BJP's Ram Naik in a thrilling contest. In 2009, Sanjay Nirupam replaced him and won from the same constituency but later lost in 2014.

As per sources, the Congress believes that Urmila has a big fan following and will be a good candidate, and even a potential 'game changer' just like Govinda had been in 2004

The Congress saw a top-level reshuffle in its Mumbai hierarchy on Monday, with Rahul Gandhi appointing former UPA minister Milind Deora as Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) chief, replacing Sanjay Nirupam after a months-long spat between the two and their respective camps.

Deora, the son of former petroleum minister Murli Deora who led Mumbai Congress for 22 years, issued a statement after his appointment: “Grateful to Sonia Gandhi ji and @RahulGandhi for giving me the opportunity to lead @INCMumbai. I commit myself to strengthening the party's roots in the city where it was born.

I look forward to working with all party leaders and thank @sanjaynirupam for his years of service." he said in a tweet.