If Sanjay Dutt cannot contest, we will request Manyata: Amar Singh (Lead)

January 10th, 2009 - 3:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 10 (IANS) If Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt is not qualified to contest the Lok Sabha elections, his wife Manyata could be the Samajwadi Party candidate from Lucknow in his place, party general secretary Amar Singh said here Saturday.”If Sanjay Dutt is unable to contest the polls, we will request the Dutt family to allow (his wife) Manyata to fight from Lucknow,” Amar Singh told reporters here.

Singh Thursday announced that Sanjay Dutt, popular for his portrayal of the title character in “Munnabhai M.B.B.S.” and “Lage Raho Munnabhai”, would be the party candidate from Lucknow for the poll expected by May.

However, Dutt was convicted for possessing illegal firearms ahead of the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai and his appeal in the Supreme Court challenging the verdict is still pending. Thus, he may not be qualified to contest.

Dutt is out on bail and is presently shooting in Jammu and Kashmir.

Amar Singh also made an appeal to the ally Congress to support Manyata. “We hope the Congress will support her because his (Sanjay’s) sister Priya Dutt (Congress MP from South Mumbai) welcomed our decision to field Sanjay,” he said.

He also recalled the Dutt family’s association with the Congress. Sanjay Dutt’s father Sunil Dutt was a minister in a Congress government while his mother Nargis Dutt was a Rajya Sabha MP of the party. Both were popular actors.

Singh had Thursday said if Dutt was not allowed to contest, the party would move the Election Commission or the Supreme Court. “If he is still unable to contest, he will be our star campaigner,” Singh had said.

Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee represents the Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow in the Lok Sabha.

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