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Sanjay not to contest if Vajpayee does

"I respect Atalji a lot. He is like my fater....If he contests election from here, then netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) has also asked me not to contest elections", Sanjay Dutt said in Lucknow.

india Updated: Jan 17, 2009 23:33 IST

Samajwadi Party candidate for Lucknow Lok Sabha seat and Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt on Saturday said he would not fight from there if former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee contests.

"I respect Atalji a lot. He is like my fater....If he contests election from here, then netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) has also asked me not to contest elections", Dutt told reporters in Lucknow.

SP General Secretary Amar Singh, however, said there was no question of Vajpayee contesting elections from Lucknow.

"Shatrughan Sinha met me yesterday in Mumbai and said his party (BJP) wanted to field him from Lucknow seat. So, there is no question of Ataji contesting from Lucknow", Amar Singh said.

Sanjay said no Congress leader stood by him after the death of his father Sunil Dutt who was a party MP.

The actor said his father wanted to hear from people that he was not a terrorist and welcomed the statement by senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh that he was "wrongly implicated" in TADA.

"I appreciate his statement. Such a statement from a big Congress leader came after 17 years", Dutt said.

"After the death of my father, I felt alone and I felt that a big party (Congress) is with me. But no one came in my favour and I felt alone. Only Amar Singh, who is my elder brother, stood by me and I cannot defy his orders when he asked me to contest from Lucknow", an emotionally charged Dutt said.

Asked about the reaction of Congress MP Priya Dutt to Sanjay's contesting the elections, Amar Singh said that she was like her younger sister and he himself, if Priya would permit, would campaign for her along with Sanjay in the coming Lok Sabha polls.

In reply to a question, Dutt, who appeared in the Munnabhai series of films based on Mahatma Gandhi's ideals, said his plank would be Gandhigiri in coming elections.

About what would he do against Mayawati government charged with corruption by SP, Dutt, reflecting Gandhigiri, said he would like to give her flowers.

On whether he would prefer Manyata to be in fray for the seat if he would not be allowed by the court to contest the elections, Dutt said it would be decided by SP leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh.

On whether Dutt could give time to his constituency, Amar Singh said his main profession was acting and he would continue to be there.

"He will stay at my residence here for at least 10 days in a month", Singh said.

"Jitna pitaji apni constituency ko samay dete the, utna hi mai bhi dunga' (I will devote as much time to my constituency as my father used to give in his constituency), Dutt said.

Earlier, Mulayam Singh Yadav said SP workers were with Dutt and would do everything to ensure his victory.

Party MPs Jaya Prada and Jaya Bachchan and party candidate from Gorakhpur and Bhojpuri singer/ actor Manoj Tiwari were also present.