The Supreme Court verdict barring Sanjay Dutt from contesting elections has dampened the spirit of his supporters, but the Bollywood star is undeterred and says he isn't "rattled" by it.
"I've seen too much in life to be rattled by this latest setback," Sanjay Dutt told a friend Tuesday after the Supreme Court vetoed the actor's desire to contest the Lok Sabha elections.
The Supreme Court refused to suspend Sanjay's conviction for owning illegal arms in the run up to the 1993 serial bombings in Mumbai.
"It's very important for Sanjay to prove himself in politics, not only to clear his name and exonerate himself of his past records, but also because he wants to carry forward his parents' legacy as people of the masses ahead, as much as his sister Priya. What hurt Sanjay was that some people close to him questioned his right to enter politics and sniggered at his capability to be a politician," a close friend said.
The Samajwadi Party had named Sanjay as its candidate for the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat, represented in the outgoing parliament by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Dutt has been campaigning in Lucknow.
Wife Maanyata wasn't with Sanjay at the time of the verdict Tuesday. She is tipped to replace him as the Samajwadi Party candidate.
"I'm a fighter. Life has made me so. I'll remain that way until the last moment. If I'm told I can't fight elections, that's still fine. I'll continue to work with Amar Singhji," Sanjay told a close friend after the verdict.
Sanjay has decided to stay in Lucknow until the polls and to continue working with Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh.
"And even after the elections, Sanjay will be working with Amar Singhji. Whether he fights elections or not, Sanjay is into politics for good," the friend said.