Sanjay Dutt won’t take on Atal
Bollywood star and Samajwadi Party candidate for Lucknow Lok Sabha seat Sanjay Dutt today said if former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee enters the electoral fray from the prestigious constituency for the sixth time, he would bow out in reverence to the senior statesman.
“I respect Atalji a lot and consider him a father figure. I have already told netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) and Amar Singhji that I will not contest against him,” said Dutt, while addressing a crowded press conference at the Samajwadi Party headquarters here. However, SP general secretary Amar Singh was quick to add that it was actually a hypothetical situation, as Vajpayee was not planning to contest elections.
“I met Shatrughan Sinha in Mumbai last night. He told me that his party had offered him the Lucknow seat. That is proof enough that Vajpayee is not contesting,” claimed Singh.
In his first interaction with the press in Lucknow, Munnabhai star, Dutt maintained that ‘Gandhigiri’ would be his main poll plank, adding that he would start by presenting flowers to the state Chief Minister Mayawati.
On a more serious note, Dutt admitted that he had started feeling lonely after the death of his father Sunil Dutt. “It was at that time I got support from the Samajwadi Party. Coming to Lucknow today, I realise that I cannot be alone when so many people love me.”
Referring to senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh’s statement that the actor had been wrongly framed under TADA, an emotional Dutt said, “I appreciate the statement, as after 17 years the Congress has finally realised that I was not a terrorist. My father would have been so happy to hear that, “ he said.
Dutt also assured the people of the city that he would attempt to give as much time to his constituency, as his late father gave to his in Mumbai.
Responding to a question, Dutt said if he’s not able to contest the Lok Sabha elections due to legal wrangles, it was entirely up to the SP leadership to decide who would replace him.
Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav formally welcomed the three Lok Sabha nominees from UP - Sanjay Dutt (Lucknow) Jaya Prada ( Rampur) and Manoj Tiwari (Gorakhpur). Earlier, Dutt got a rousing reception from the enthusiastic crowd that had gathered to catch a glimpse of their favourite star. Soon after his arrival at Lucknow’s Amausi airport, Dutt virtually initiated his election campaign with a road show, which was high on glamour quotient. As his cavalcade moved from the airport to the SP state office on Vikramaditya Marg, thousands of SP supporters and his fans were seen shouting slogans in star’s favour. Dutt was accompanied by his wife Manyata, SP general secretary Amar Singh and party MPs Jaya Bachchan and Jaya Prada