Scotching speculations, the Rashtriya Samaj Paksh on Monday said actor Sanjay Dutt will not join the party.
“No, Sanjay Dutt is not joining our party. The reports of his joining our party are not true,” RSP chief Mahadev Jankar, who is the animal husbandry minister in the Devendra Fadnavis cabinet, told The Indian Express.
Jankar, however, said Dutt would campaign for him and some other party candidates in the upcoming Assembly elections. “The actor has promised to campaign for me and our other candidates,” he said.
Dutt, too, later issued a statement, saying: “I will not be joining any political party. Mr Jankar is a dear friend and brother of mine and I humbly wish him good luck for his future endeavours.”
Addressing a party event in Mumbai on Sunday, Jankar had reportedly said Dutt would join the RSP on September 25.
He had also played a pre-recorded video of the actor greeting him and addressing him as his brother. However, Jankar on Monday said, “I never said Dutt will join RSP. I said the actor was to share platform at our Sunday’s event, but he could not make it.”
The RSP is a junior ally of the ruling BJP in Maharashtra and mainly represents the ‘Dhangar’ or shepherd community. It has been part of the BJP-led NDA since the 2014 Maharashtra Assembly elections. This time, Jankar has reportedly asked for more seats than 2014 for his party to contest from.
Rumours of Dutt joining politics had been doing the rounds before Lok Sabha elections 2019 too, but the actor had quashed them. Dutt was a Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate for the Lucknow Lok Sabha constituency in 2009, but withdrew after the court refused to suspend his conviction under the Arms Act.