January 14, 2009 2:28:43 pm
Congress MP Priya Dutt on Wednesday expressed her disappointment over her actor-brother Sanjay Dutt’s decision to associate with Sawajwadi Party for the Lok Sabha polls,saying “we have always been a Congress family”.
“Definitely there is disappointment. We have always been a Congress family. I hope he would have fought for the Congress party,” Dutt,a sitting MP from northwest Mumbai seat,told reporters in Delhi.
She,however,said her brother’s decision to associate with Samajwadi Party was completely an individual one and that there was no family feud over it.
“There is no family feud. Everybody is free to take a decision for himself or herself. This is Sanjay’s decision and he has to take responsibility for this,” she said. Dutt declined to comment when asked if Sanjay’s wife Manyata had played any role in her brother’s decision.
She said she was misinterpreted by a section of the media about her views on Sanjay’s move.
“Everyone has a right to take his own individual decision. I don’t want to pass judgement on anybody’s life. But at the time of crisis,we are one as a family,” she said.
She said it is good that Sanjay had decided to serve people by entering politics.
Asked whether her brother took the decision because Congress “did not stand by him,” Dutt replied in the negative,saying “I do not think that is true”.
Dutt said that her parents’ name should not be brought into any controversy.
“I have never brought my family to public life. My parents and family should not be brought into any controversy,” she said.
Dutt said Sanjay’s decision to associate with the Samajwadi Party had not been discussed within the family.
Amar Singh hits out at Priya Dutt
Hitting out at Priya Dutt for her reported remarks that her father Sunil Dutt would not have liked his son Sanjay Dutt contesting election on a Samajwadi Party ticket,party leader Amar Singh said that Dutt junior had campaigned for the party even when the late star of Hindi films was alive.
“When the late Sunil Dutt was alive,Sanjay had campaigned for Jaya Prada when she had contested from Rampur (in Uttar Pradesh). He (Sunil Dutt) should have then asked Sanjay not to campaign,” Singh told reporters in New Delhi.
Singh claimed when Congress had asked Sunil Dutt to campaign against Jaya Prada,he had refused. “He had said he would not campaign against people in the industry be it Jaya Prada,Shatrughan Sinha or Hema Malini.”
According to the SP general secretary,it was Sunil Dutt only who had introduced him to Sanjay.
Amar Singh also criticised noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani for equating Sanjay with Ansal brothers convicted in the Uphaar tragedy. “Ansals were involved in a mass murder,” he added.
Singh said if former cricketer Navjot Singh Siddhu convicted in a murder case could be allowed to contest elections,the same principle could apply on Sanjay.
He claimed politicians with tainted past including Syed Sahabuddin and Hari Shanker Tiwari too have contested elections.
Singh said celebrities like Priya Dutt,who is a Congress MP from Mumbai,should speak carefully before the media. “There is nothing like off record for celebrities…now she says that her statement has been presented incorrectly in the media,” he added.
The SP general secretary claimed that Priya should not have made the statement,if at all she did. On Manyataa,Singh said,”Manyataa is Sanjay Dutt’s wife. The legal hurdles in this regard have been removed. She now writes Dutt as her surname the way Aishwarya uses the Bachchan title after marriage.”
He was apparently replying to sharp reactions from Congress leaders including Digvijay Singh on SP’s plans to field Manyataa in case Sanjay is not allowed to contest from Lucknow parliamentary seat as he is convicted under the Arms Act.
The SP has said it would make all efforts to ensure that Sanjay is allowed to contest despite the conviction. “We would approach the Election Commission and courts. If we fail,we will field Manyataa and Sanjay Dutt will be our star campaigner,” Singh had said last Sunday.
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