- In her letter, she criticised close aides of senior leader Sanjay Nirupam
- The letter, dated May 16, was addressed to Milind Deora
- She said she wanted to "bring about betterment in the party"
Actress-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar, who unsuccessfully contested this year's national elections from Mumbai North seat as a Congress candidate, on Tuesday said the leak of her letter criticising close aides of senior party leader Sanjay Nirupam was "unfortunate".
In the letter addressed to the party leadership, Ms Matondkar had criticised the conduct of Sandesh Kondvilkar and Bhushan Patil, close associates of Mr Nirupam, former Mumbai Congress president, during campaigning. The 45-year-old actress had lost to BJP veteran Gopal Shetty by a margin of over four lakh votes.
The letter, dated May 16 - a week before the Lok Sabha election results were announced, was addressed to Milind Deora, Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) chief.
"It's extremely unfortunate that a confidential letter containing privileged communication was made public," Ms Matondkar said in a statement.
"I had addressed this letter to the Mumbai Congress president with the sole intention to bring about betterment in the party. It is extremely significant to note that this letter was written way before the election results were announced and even before the exit polls," she said.
In the letter, she had highlighted the failure of party leadership at local level on coordination, mobilising workers at grassroots, failure to provide proper resources to her by the two campaign coordinators.
Without naming him, Mr Nirupam had blamed Mr Deora for making Ms Matondkar's letter public. He tweeted, "young leader who desires to stabilise party at national level has released copies of complaint letter of an LS candidate to media houses to publish it... It was addressed to him against party workers after election. Is this the way he is going to adopt to stabilise the party?"
A former lawmaker who lost in the elections this time, Mr Deora announced his resignation from the post Sunday, taking responsibility for the party's defeat. Mr Nirupam, who was replaced by Mr Deora as the president of Mumbai Congress ahead of the elections, instantly attacked him. "A resignation comes with a feeling of sacrifice. But here a moment later, a 'national-level' position is being sought. Is this a resignation or a ladder to climb up? The party should be cautious with such 'hard-working' people," he tweeted in Hindi.
Mr Deora, in a statement, said, "A party and its ideals are bigger than one individual. Some unpleasant and unwarranted commentary from certain quarters should be ignored and not countered. The Congress party has seen many upheavals and shall overcome this one too."
(With inputs from PTI)