Thursday, June 1, 2023

Five months after quitting Congress, Urmila Matondkar likely to formally join Shiv Sena on Monday


MUMBAI: Actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar is likely to formally join the Shiv Sena on Monday. She is likely to be inducted in the presence of chief minister and party president Uddhav Thackeray, about five months after she quit the Congress.

“It is final that she will join the party. We are not aware whether it will happen tomorrow or not, but she will join the party,” a Shiv Sena leader told ET on condition of anonymity on Sunday.

Matondkar earned the confidence of the Shiv Sena when she took on fellow actor Kangana Ranaut during the Sushant Singh death controversy earlier this year. She questioned Ranaut for trying to besmirch the film industry and the state over Singh’s death.

Shiv Sena leaders said Matondkar being a Maharashtrian would be a plus as the party would use her to beat the BJP with. The party has used the Anvay Naik death and Ranaut issue to claim that the BJP is siding with non-Maharashtrians who are slamming the government. Party leaders said Matondkar would also come in handy during the 2022 Mumbai municipal polls.

The development comes in the backdrop of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi coalition government sending a list of 12 names to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari that it would like to be nominated to the legislative council. Matondkar’s was among the names given by the party to the governor, who has yet to approve the names. The government wanted the governor to approve the names within 15 days after it submitted the list on November 6.

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