Making his political debut as the Samajwadi Party candidate for the Lucknow Parliamentary constituency, Bollywood superstar Sanjay Dutt on Saturday virtually launched his election campaign with a roadshow in Lucknow amidst much fanfare and other SP leaders and celebrities in tow.
Arriving in Lucknow for the first time after his candidature was announced, the actor started at the head of a procession flanked by wife Manyata, SP General Secretary Amar Singh, MP Jaya Bachchan and Bhojpuri singer and actor Manoj Tiwari, who too is aspiring to enter the Lok Sabha on the party ticket from Gorakhpur.
"Mai yahan logon ko pyar karne aya hun aur pyar lene aya hun. Log mujhe jaadu ki jhappi dein" (I am here to love people and seek their love. People here shoud give me a magic hug), Dutt told reporters.
Clad in white kurta-payjama and Nehru vest, Dutt said that he was eager to work for the people of the city even as opposition parties have launched a veiled campaign to paint the "reel-life hero" as a "real-life villian" by highlighting his conviction in a 15-year-old Arms Act case for possessing an AK-47 rifle.
Dutt, who confirmed only on Friday that he would indeed contest the coming polls as an SP candidate after his sister had expressed disappointment at his decision to join a party other than Congress, is considered a "strong candidate" by other contenders for the seat.
The actor is expected to announce his future plans when he meets the press later in the day.