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'A special victory' for Sunil Dutt

Vijay Singh in Mumbai | May 13, 2004 20:35 IST

Newly re-elected Member of Parliament Sunil Dutt has a word to describe his victory from Mumbai Northwest in the 14th Lok Sabha elections.


His son, actor Sanjay Dutt, made an uncharacteristic visit to the counting centre to congratulate his father on his victory. Also present were his daughters Priya and Namrata, and son-in-law Kumar Gaurav.

"This is a special victory for me," Sunil Dutt said, "because after a long time my whole family has come together to share this victory."

Dutt said he was confident of winning. "People always keep progressing," he said, adding that in the previous election he had been the lone Congress MP from Mumbai but had helped five candidates get elected to the state assembly. "And now this time, five members of parliament have been elected from Mumbai," he added, alluding to the Congress party's good run in the region.

Dutt, who won the seat in 1999, was fielded against firebrand Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Nirupam. The Congress leader had recently filed a defamation suit against Nirupam for his remarks that Dutt had attended Parliament only on three occasions. Dutt's lawyer Majeed Memon had argued that the allegations were untrue.

Dutt dismissed comments that he had a tough election. "It is a perception created by the media," the former actor said. "I had defeated Ram Jethmalani from this constituency [in 1984]. So I was very sure about my winning." He confirmed that he would not withdraw the case he had filed against Nirupam as the Sena leader had "tried to damage my reputation".

His reputation, Dutt said, was an important factor in his victory.

"The name that a person earns from his personality is more important than his work," Dutt said. He added that people often earn money in illegal ways and "make temples" from that money, but it "becomes useless" when they don't have a good name.

Dutt said he was prepared to work as an ordinary Congress worker and would not force himself into the ministerial race if the Congress forms a government at the Centre.

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