Political circles are abuzz with speculation over famed Bollywood actress Urmila Matondkar’s possible entry into politics as a Congress candidate in Mumbai, sources said on Monday.
The ‘Masoom’ (1983) child actress is widely considered in the reckoning for a Congress nomination from Mumbai North Lok Sabha constituency.
When contacted by IANS, Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam, state Congress spokespersons and Matondkar’s family members declined to comment.
However, political sources reveal that her name is at “an advanced stage of consideration by the party leadership” and that the final decision could be announced shortly.
Mumbai’s six Lok Sabha constituencies will vote on April 29 along with 17 others in the state’s fourth phase of polling.
If nominated, Matondkar’s formidable rival would be Bharatiya Janata Party incumbent MP Gopal Shetty in the constituency that was once regarded a BJP bastion.
However, Bollywood actor Govinda (Ahuja) had earned the title of ‘giant-killer’ in 2004 when – in a major upset – he trounced the former Petroleum Minister Ram Naik, the current Uttar Pradesh Governor.
Naik had faced a second consecutive defeat in 2009 at the hands of Nirupam, who was defeated in 2014 by Shetty during the BJP-wave which catapulted Narendra Modi as Prime Minister.
The name of Matondkar, 45, married to a Kashmiri, M.A. Mir, has been doing rounds since the past few days as the Congress grappled for an effective counter to the BJP.
She started her career as a child star aged seven in a Marathi film, ‘Zaakol’ (1980), and later her first role in Bollywood in the Shashi Kapoor-Rekha starrer ‘Kalyug’ (1981).
But, it was the highly-acclaimed Shekhar Kapur-directed film, ‘Masoom’ (1983) that catapulted her to fame as a child actress and significantly boosted her film career.
Later, she worked with some of the biggest actors in major films like ‘Dacait’, ‘Bade Ghar Ki Beti’, ‘Narasimha’, ‘Chamatkar’, ‘Aa Gale Lag Jaa’ (paired opposite Jugal Hansraj, the child co-star of ‘Masoom’), ‘Rangeela’, ‘Indian’, ‘Judaai’, ‘Daud’, ‘Satya’, ‘Kaun’, ‘Mast’, ‘Dillagi’, ‘Khoobsurat’, ‘Jungle’, ‘Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya’, ‘Ek Hasina Thi’, ‘Om Jai Jagadeesh’, ‘Bhoot’, ‘Pinjar’, ‘Maine Gandhi Ko Nahi Maara’ and ‘Speed’.
Besides, she has acted in Marathi and South Indian language films and several television serials.
Incidentally, besides Mumbai North-West (now, Mumbai North-Central) constituency, the Mumbai North is the only Lok Sabha seat in the country’s commercial capital which has ever elected a well-known film personality.
The late Union minister and actor Sunil Dutt had been elected from there five times and later the baton passed onto his daughter Priya Dutt.