‘Munnabhai MP’ makes debut | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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‘Munnabhai MP’ makes debut

On Saturday, Sanjay Dutt officially made the transition from actor to politician. As the city welcomed him with banners of ‘Munnabhai MP’, he promised he wasn’t leaving Gandhigiri behind, and that he wouldn’t be boring, reports Pankaj Jaiswal.

lucknow Updated: Jan 18, 2009 00:58 IST
Pankaj Jaiswal

On Saturday, Sanjay Dutt officially made the transition from actor to politician. As the city welcomed him with banners of ‘Munnabhai MP’, he promised he wasn’t leaving Gandhigiri behind, and that he wouldn’t be boring.

Addressing a press conference at the Samajwadi Party (SP) headquarters in Lucknow, the constituency he hopes to represent in the Lok Sabha polls, Dutt declared: “If Atalji contests, I won’t. He is like my father.” But party general secretary Amar Singh said: “Atalji won’t contest as the BJP is looking to field Shatrughan Sinha. But Sinha too has said he won’t contest if Sanjay Dutt contests.”

Also present at the press conference were SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav, MPs Jaya Bachchan and Jaya Prada, Dutt’s wife Manyata and the party’s Gorakhpur candidate and Bhojpuri filmstar Manoj Tiwari.

Dutt also seemed to settle any perceived hostilities with the Congress, saying: “I’d like to make a special mention of the statement Digvijay Singh made.” The actor said he appreciated the fact the Congress leader had said “TADA imposed on me was wrong. I am glad”.

In case the court does not permit him to contest the elections, Dutt said, the party would decide on another candidature. This was in response to a question on whether Manyata was in the fray too. Talking about his family, Dutt said his father had died waiting for his son to be proven innocent. He said he had the blood of Nargisji and Sunil Duttji in him and he would make them proud.

Dutt said his poll issue would be Gandhigiri and he’d present BSP chief Mayawati with a bouquet. “I promise I won’t bore Lucknowites with lectures. Whatever I say will be from the heart.”

Asked who’d be his ‘Circuit’, Bachchan said: “We will all be glad to be his Circuit.” Amar Singh said this was a moment of pride for the SP. Mulayam said Dutt’s entry into politics had raised the confidence of the public and party workers would work hard to help him win.