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Sanjay Dutt firm on being SP candidate

January 17, 2009 02:02 IST

Ending days of speculation and seeking to bury the hatchet with her sister and Congress member of Parliament Priya Dutt, Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt said on Friday that he would contest Lok Sabha poll from Lucknow as a nominee of Samajwadi Party.
     
"I will contest as a Samajwadi Party candidate from Lucknow", the actor told reporters at his suburban Bandra
residence in Mumbai.
       
Dutt said he has forgiven Priya for her "angry outburst" over his contesting the poll on a SP ticket.
    
"Priya has denied having said anything against me. Even if she has said something against me, I forgive her as she is my kid sister," Sanjay said.
    
Denying any rift with Priya over his political foray, Sanjay said there was no fight in his family and that the Dutt family has always supported the Gandhi family.
    
SP leader Amar Singh, who was also present at the press conference, explained the significance of Sanjay being fielded from Lucknow saying Sanjay's late father Sunil Dutt began his career with All India Radio, Lucknow.
    
Dutt claimed he was no longer an accused under the anti-terror Act TADA and he was now only under the Arms Act
and the media should keep this difference in mind while reporting about him.
    
Amar Singh said if Congress president Sonia Gandhi wants to give Sanjay the poll ticket, "we will step back and still
support him".
    
"There is no legal hurdle in Sanjay's contesting the poll," Singh said when asked about the actor's conviction in
the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case. 

"Even if there are some issues, they would be sorted out. The court has so far not made any observations," Singh said.
    
Sanjay cited cricketer-turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu's case, saying "if Sidhu, who faced murder charge, can
contest, why can't I".
    
Asked what was the reason for choosing the SP over Congress, Sanjay said "I got the invitation from SP first."
    
Clarifying reports about Sanjay's wife Manyata being a candidate in case Sanjay was unable to contest, Singh said
she was never a candidate.
    
Singh expressed confidence that the SP-Congress alliance would survive in Uttar Pradesh. "Recent action by the Congress indicate that the party is serious over the alliance with SP," he said.
    
"If there are any Mrs and Mr Dutt in my family, it is me and Manyata," Sanjay said when asked about his marital status.
    
Singh said Sanjay's political career won't be at the cost of films."SP leader Mulayam Singh has said he won't have to sacrifice his film career", he said. "Films will be his mainstay, politics would be overtime," he added.
    
On January 14, Priya Dutt had said she was disappointed over Sanjay being fielded by Samajwadi Party.

"There is definitely disappointment over Sanjay's contesting as a SP nominee... We have always been a Congress
family," the Congress MP from Mumbai Northwest had said.
    
She had maintained that it was her brother's personal decision. About a report which quoted her as saying, 'I am glad Dad (Sunil Dutt) is not alive to see this,' she said, "I have been misinterpreted."
    
Sanjay, who arrived in Mumbai earlier today from a film shooting schedule in Kashmir, said he would like to campaign for Priya if she wants.

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