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Congress fields Urmila Matondkar from Mumbai North Lok Sabha seat

The Congress on Friday fielded actress Urmila Matondkar from Mumbai North Lok Sabha constituency, two days after she joined the party.

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Bollywood actor Urmila Matondkar is greeted by Mumbai Congress Chief Milind Deora and party leader Sanjay Nirupam after she joined the Congress Party, March 27, 2019. (PTI Photo)
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The Congress on Friday fielded actress Urmila Matondkar from Mumbai North Lok Sabha constituency, two days after she joined the party.

Matondkar had joined the Congress after meeting Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday.

"The Congress central election committee has approved the candidature of Urmila Matondkar as party candidate to contest the ensuing general elections from Mumbai North parliamentary constituency in Maharashtra," a party statement said.

She will face BJP's Gopal Shetty, the sitting MP, in the elections. The Congress had last won the seat in 2009 when Sanjay Nirupam had defeated Ram Naik.

Mumbai Congress chief Milind Deora welcomed her nomination and said the actress will be a powerful voice for freedom of speech and expression in Parliament.

"I welcome Urmila Matondkar's nomination as the Congress candidate for Mumbai North! Urmila will be a powerful voice for freedom of speech and expression in Parliament. We need artistes who will fight back against hate, against fear, against censorship," Deora said on Twitter.

He had said on Thursday that the city unit of the party had requested the high command to give a Lok Sabha ticket to Matondkar. 

Deora, who took charge as the new Mumbai Congress chief, replacing Sanjay Nirupam, said, "We have requested party chief Rahul Gandhi to nominate Matondkar as a candidate."

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan also said that Matondkar's candidature would be declared soon.

After joining the party, Matondkar had said she felt the need to join the Congress party as the freedom to express was under attack in the country and there are numerous examples in this regard in the last five years.

She had said the Congress party has participated in the freedom struggle and it stood for freedom.

Speaking to reporters later, Matondkar said she wanted the politics of hatred which has grown by "leaps and bounds" in the last five years, to end.

The money spent on "trolling and hatred" should have gone into development, she added. 

(With PTI inputs)

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