Film star Sanjay Dutt capped his whirlwind entry into politics with a declaration that he would not be contesting from Lucknow against former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee should the BJP veteran choose to throw his hat into the ring.
Dutt declared at a press conference,I will not contest the election from Lucknow against Atalji. I am too small a person to contest against a father figure like Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Asked whether his wife Manyata would contest in his place,he said, It is not for me to decide who will replace me,it will be decided by the SP and Mulayam Singh Yadav. Vajpayee is the sitting MP from Lucknow and has won for five consecutive terms since 1991.
Dutt,on his first visit to Lucknow ever since his name was floated for the seat by the SP and his subsequent acceptance,was assisted by SP general secretary Amar Singh during the press conference with Singh attempting to answer most of the questions addressed to Dutt. Singh sought to evade the question of Vajpayee contesting saying,it is a hypothetical question whether Atalji will contest the election from Lucknow as the BJP was also considering the candidature of Shatrughan Sinha from Lucknow.
Dutt welcomed AICC general secretary Digvijay Singhs statement that his detention under TADA was wrong. I appreciate the fact that after 17 years a senior leader of the Congress has made this admission,this would have pleased my father Sunil Dutt had he been alive today.
Dutt on being asked for a reaction to UP CM Mayawatis style of functioning said he would present lots of flowers to the UP chief minister.
Putting on record his appreciation for Amar Singh,he said,I never felt alone after the death of my father as Amar Singh was always there to help me. He suggested to me to contest the Lok Sabha election from Lucknow. Amar Singh is my elder brother and I could not say no to him.
Dutt claimed that all was well between him and his sister Priya Dutt,Congress MP from Mumbai. If needed I would campaign for my sister in Mumbai.