Mumbai: In Indian politics, prominent personalities or leaders usually first join a party and then are rewarded with a ticket for legislatures or parliament. In what is said to be an unprecedented change from the norms, Bollywood actress Urmila Matondkar got a ‘ticket’ first and then officially joined the Shiv Sena, in the presence of senior leaders, here on Tuesday.
Shiv Sena President and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray accorded Matondkar a warm welcome to the party fold while his wife Rashmi Uddhav Thackeray tied her a thread, ‘Shiv Bandhan’ symbolizing her ties with the new party.
Soon after that, she bowed with folded hands and paid her respects before a wall-portrait of the founder-patriarch of Shiv Sena, the late Balasaheb Thackeray and his wife Meenatai Thackeray, at the Thackeray residence, ‘Matoshri’ in Bandra east.
The development came after Matondkar remained in a ‘denial mode’ for 14 months since she quit the Congress in September 2019, and even after she got a ‘ticket’ from the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) to the Maharashtra Legislature’s upper house.
In anticipation of her joining, the MVA last month (Nov. 2020) recommended Matondkar’s name – along with 11 others of MVA – to Raj Bhavan for a coveted nomination to the Maharashtra Legislative Council from the quota of Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
Matondkar quit the Congress in a huff on September 10 last year, alleging party infighting, post-defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections at the hands of Bharatiya Janata Party’s Gopal Shetty in Mumbai North constituency.
Earlier, prior to the October 2019 Maharashtra Assembly polls, there was intense speculation that she would join either the Shiv Sena, Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party or even Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, but she had scoffed it as rumours.
An outspoken person known for her bold stand on various issues, a couple of months ago, she and actress Kangana Ranaut were engaged in a verbal scuffle after the latter made certain remarks targeting Matondkar on the social media.