‘Munnabhai’ Sanjay Dutt promises ‘Gandhigiri’ to Lucknow audience (Lead)

January 17th, 2009 - 8:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Jan 17 (IANS) Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt, who has decided to contest the coming Lok Sabha elections as a Samajwadi Party candidate from Lucknow, Saturday visited the city, winning over crowds as he promised to practise “Gandhigiri”.A bearded Dutt, sporting whike kurta-pyjama and black jacket, was flanked by his wife Manyata and party activists at the rally organised by the Samajwadi Party.

“After the death of my father (actor, Congress leader and central minister Sunil Dutt) I felt lonely and in these times (Samajwadi Party general secretary) Amar Singh supported me like a brother. I would do whatever Amar Singh would ask me to do,” Dutt told reporters, justifying his decision to join politics.

Dutt Friday night had said in Mumbai that he would contest the polls on the Samajwadi Party ticket, ignoring the disapproval of his sister and Congress MP Priya Dutt.

But the actor thanked Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh for the statement that applying anti-terror laws against him was wrong. Dutt said he was happy to hear this from the Congress after 17 years.

Dutt has been convicted for illegally holding arms in the run-up to the 1993 Mumbai serial bombings. He has been granted bail by the Supreme Court.

Amar Singh last week announced his name as the party candidate from Lucknow, the prestigious constituency currently represented by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Dutt clarified Vajpayee was “like a father” to him and he would withdraw if the veteran leader was in the fray in the elections to be held by May.

Earlier in the day, the actor won over the crowds by repeatedly referring to “Gandhigiri” - a term from his hit film “Lage Raho Munnabhai”, referring to ideals of non-violence and truth propagated by Mahatma Gandhi - and said he would give “jadu ki jhappi” to the people of the constituency - referring to the term made popular by his mega hit “Munnabhai M.B.B.S.”.

“I love the people here, and will do my best to work for them,” Dutt told the ecstatic supporters, as they pushed and edged one another to try and get near the star and shake hands with him.

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