Bollywood star and Samajwadi Party's candidate-to-be from Lucknow Sanjay Dutt kicked off his poll campaign here Wednesday with hundreds of his fans thronging the city streets to catch a glimpse of the man they call "Munnabhai".
Accompanied by wife Manyata and Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh, Sanjay straightaway went to meet a family in the Jopling Road locality with whom his father Sunil Dutt stayed while he worked as an anchor with the All India Radio (AIR).
Sunil Dutt lived with the family of Captain Rizvi in the narrow Ganne Wali lane in Aminabad for nearly four years till 1951. However, owing to security reasons Sanjay was not allowed to enter it.
"Hundreds of people lined up the lane which is merely 2-3 feet wide. Owing to a heavy rush and security reasons, Sanjay is expected to visit the lane sometime later," said Samajwadi Party spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary.
Sanjay and Manyata were showered with red rose petals while they met the captain's family at Jopling Road. Calling Manyata its daughter-in-law, the family also gave 'muh dikhayee', a post-marriage ritual in Hindu families where money is gifted to the bride after seeing her face.
"I am quite happy to visit the family with whom my father cherished some memorable moments," Sanjay told reporters.
With the family members, he also went through some black and white photographs of his father.
After meeting the family, Sanjay along with his wife and Amar Singh headed for the Samajwadi Party office on Vikramaditya Marg. He will meet party workers to formulate strategy for the upcoming April-May Lok Sabha polls.
Sanjay is popularly called "Munnabhai" after a character he played in a film. Though convicted for arms possession in the 1993 Mumbai blasts, he has been picked by the Samajwadi Party as its candidate from Lucknow.