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BJP MP sparks controversy says Urmila roped in for face


Mumbai, Apr 11: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Gopal Shetty on Thursday said that actor Urmila Matondkar, who joined the Congress recently and contesting Lok Sabha elections from Mumbai North seat, has been roped in by the grand old party for polls because of her face. "Chehre ko dekh kar hi laya gaya hai" (She has been brought in because of her face), said Shetty, who is a sitting MP from Mumbai North seat.

File photo of BJP MP Gopal Shetty

Shetty's remarks have made headlines in the past and the North Mumbai MP is not new to controversies.

"Urmila ji ko jo rajneeti mein laya gaya, woh celebrity hai toh chehre ko dekh kar hi laya gaya hai na, usmein kisi ko bura lagne ka koi karan nahi hai. Woh ek political parivar se aayi hain, gyaan hai unko politics ka, lekin party jo chuni hai woh kharab hai (Urmila ji has been inducted in politics, she is a celebrity so (she) has been roped in for her face. No one should feel bad about it. She is from a political family, she has knowledge of politics. But she has chosen a wrong party)," news agency ANI quoted him as saying.

Urmila Matondkar to contest from Mumbai North

Matondkar is the Congress' candidate from Mumbai North Lok Sabha constituency. Congress on March 29 confirmed that actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar will contest from the Mumbai North parliamentary constituency. Matondkar's rival is BJP's incumbent MP Gopal Shetty in a constituency that was once regarded a BJP bastion.

Shetty is not new to controversies. In February 2016, Shetty had triggered a controversy after he compared suicides of farmers to "fashion" and "trend" to end lives. "Not all farmers' suicides happen due to unemployment and starvation. A fashion is going on. A trend is on," Shetty, who represents north Mumbai, had said. Shetty later defended himself and said, "I wanted to say that there is a fashion of giving compensation to farmers committing suicide," adding, "Instead of using word competition I said fashion."

Last year in July last year, Shetty stirred a controversy again by saying that Christians did not contribute to the freedom struggle. He had reportedly claimed that it was only the Hindus and the Muslims who played a role in India's freedom struggle and not the Christians.

Soon after demonetisation was announced in November 2016, Shetty drew flak for his insensitive remark on deaths of people in bank queues. Commenting on deaths, Shetty had said "kuchh pane ke liye, kuchh khona padta hai." (To get something, you have to lose something).

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