Forget about films, Dutt to move to Lucknow to script MP career T

By Sharat Pradhan, IANS,

Lucknow : Keeping his Bollywood career firmly on the backburner, actor and wannabe MP Sanjay Dutt will camp in Lucknow from now till the end of the elections and spend time “reaching out to the masses” while he waits for the Supreme Court’s green signal to contest.

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Dutt, the Samajwadi Party nominee for the prestigious Lucknow Lok Sabha seat, arrives here Saturday to familiarise himself with the city and its people in the weeks before the five-phase elections that begin April 16.

“I am reaching Lucknow on March 14 after which I will just camp there until the end of the election,” Dutt said.

His entry into politics awaits the Supreme Court nod, necessary because of the anti-terror court convicting him under the Arms Act for the 1993 Mumbai bombing. But the actor, who has endeared himself as the do-gooder goon “Munnabhai”, is confident of getting the court’s permission.

“I see no reason why the hon’ble court would not grant me permission to contest. After all, cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu was allowed by the apex court to enter the poll fray though he was convicted for culpable homicide not amounting to murder,” Dutt told IANS over the telephone from Mumbai.

“I did not kill anyone – even by accident – nor can I ever even remotely think of doing so; and the trial court too did not see any truth in the charges that were fabricated against me to frame and label me a terrorist. Ultimately all that could be held out against me was possession of a prohibited gun, which was never used to kill anybody.”

Referring to the court denying permission to gangster Babloo Srivastava, who had also made a similar request to contest the general election, Dutt shot back: “For heaven’s sake, please do not equate my case with that of a gangster. I am not a criminal.”

Asked how he would begin the campaign as the Supreme Court has fixed March 30 as the next date of hearing, the actor said: “I will spend this time reaching out to the masses in Lucknow. I know they love me and now is the time to assure them that I have come here to brush shoulders with them and to assert for their rights.”

“I am the son of Sunil Dutt whose commitment and devotion to his electors is remembered in Mumbai. My actions will prove you wrong,” he retorted on being told that he sounded like most politicians who believed only in lip service before any election.