Cong: will support Sanjay if court allows him to contest

A day after the much-hyped visit of actor Sanjay Dutt to Lucknow,Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee was quick to make its stand clear on the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat and their “conditional support” to Dutt.

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow | Published:February 20, 2009 1:09 am

A day after the much-hyped visit of actor Sanjay Dutt to Lucknow,Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) was quick to make its stand clear on the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat and their “conditional support” to Dutt.

According to the state Congress,it will support Dutt as an SP candidate from Lucknow only if he is allowed by the TADA court to contest an election. If Dutt fails to get relief from the court,the Congress will withdraw its support.

The party further clarified that no other SP candidate,“not even Manyata” (Dutt’s wife) will get Congress support for the Lucknow seat.

UPCC general secretary Subodh Srivastava said: “We agreed on Sanjay Dutt,taking into account that Sunil Dutt was a respected Congress leader.”

In case Sanjay Dutt does not get relief to fight an election from the TADA court,then in no case Congress will leave its claim for the Lucknow seat. “It will field its candidate from Lucknow,who will have a local representation,” he added.

Asked about the alternative option suggested by SP general secretary Amar Singh to field Manyata Dutt,Srivastava said: “Workers are not ready to accept Manyata. No one from our party will support her candidature from Lucknow.”

While the SP has never won the Lucknow seat,Congress had won it last in 1980 and 1984 elections with Shiela Kaul as its candidate. Madhu Gupta,the SP candidate,had lost by a huge margin of votes.

According to sources,the Congress is strongly taking into account the fact that their candidate for Mayor in Lucknow had received over 2 lakh votes. Leaders believe with the right kind of campaign,the party can woo a large section of voters in their favour.

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