Indian political circles have been speculating that Bollywood actress Urmila Matondkar will enter the field as a Congress candidate in Mumbai, sources said on Monday.
The former child actress is widely considered in the reckoning for a Congress nomination from Mumbai North Lok Sabha constituency.
Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam, state Congress spokespersons and Matondkar’s family members declined to comment.
However, 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 rival would be Bharatiya Janata Party incumbent MP Gopal Shetty in the constituency that was once regarded as a BJP bastion.
However, Bollywood actor Govinda earned the title of ‘giant-killer’ in 2004 when, in a major upset, he trounced former Petroleum Minister Ram Naik, the current Uttar Pradesh Governor.
Naik faced a second consecutive defeat in 2009 at the hands of Nirupam, who was defeated in 2014 by Shetty during the BJP-wave that catapulted Narendra Modi as Prime Minister.
The name of Matondkar, 45, married to a Kashmiri, MA Mir, has been doing the rounds for 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). She also starred in the Shashi Kapoor and Rekha-led ‘Kalyug’ (1981).
But, it was the highly-acclaimed Shekhar Kapur-directed film ‘Masoom’ (1983) that catapulted her to fame.
Later, she worked with some of the biggest actors in films such as ‘Rangeela’, ‘Indian’ and ‘Judaai’.
Matondkar has also acted in Marathi and South Indian language films and several TV serials.