‘Munnabhai’ Sanjay Dutt wins over crowds at Samajwadi Party rally (Lead)

January 17th, 2009 - 9:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyLucknow, Jan 17 (IANS) Amidst beating of drums, blowing of trumpets and slogans of “Munnabhai jeetega” filling the air, Bollywood star and Samajwadi Party’s Lok Sabha election candidate Sanjay Dutt arrived here Saturday to a rousing welcome. Thousands of people, including party activists and the actor’s fans, jostled for space to catch a glimpse of Dutt, who arrived at the Samajwadi Party office on the Vikramaditya Marg after a roadshow.

Donning the typical attire of a Samajwadi activist with a red cap on his head and sporting a green party scarf over his kurta pyjama, the film star’s cavalcade snaked through important thoroughfares of the Uttar Pradesh capital.

He flashed the victory signal from an open jeep all through his road show that ended at the party office.

He passed through Hazratgang, Charbaag, Movaiya and Alambagh areas.

When asked during his road show what would be his poll plank, he grinned: “Surely, it would be Gandhigiri (practising non-violent methods).”

A bearded Dutt was flanked by his wife Manyata and party activists at the rally.

The Bollywood actor won over the crowds by repeatedly referring to “Gandhigiri” and said he would give “jadu ki jhappi” (magical embrace) to the people of the constituency - referring to his mega hit film “Lage Raho Munnabhai”.

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

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

The Samajwadi Party had earlier this week named Dutt as their candidate. The seat at present is held by veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

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