After Samajwadi Party stint, Sanjay Dutt may join BJP ally
Almost a decade ago, actor Sanjay Dutt took a plunge in politics by joining Samajwadi Party (SP). After this career choice didn't take off, Dutt is planning to give politics a try again, this time by joining a BJP ally. On Sunday, the founder of Rashtriya Samaj Paksh (RSP), Mahadev Jankar declared Dutt would join his party on September 25. Here are more details.
RSP is planning to tap on film industry, said Jankar
RSP is one of the junior allies of BJP in Maharashtra since 2014. Jankar said his party was "tapping" on the film industry for its outreach. "We have started working in the film sector as well to expand our party. As part of which, actor Sanjay Dutt is also joining the Rashtriya Samaj Paksh on September 25," he said.
Jankar claimed Dutt "missed" an earlier date of joining party
Jankar, who holds Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development portfolios, made the announcement while addressing party workers at the 17th foundation day program. The event was held at Shivaji Park. He said Dutt was all poised to join his party. "But there was some confusion over the date, so Sanjay Dutt could not make it and missed the date," Jankar said.
In video, Dutt called Jankar his "brother"
Further, Jankar played a pre-recorded video in which Dutt called the politician his brother and friend. Though Dutt congratulated Jankar for his party's foundation day, he didn't give an indication that he might join it. Meanwhile, despite being an ally of BJP, RSP didn't contest Lok Sabha polls, as it was denied a seat. "We should be compensated now, during assembly polls," he said.
RSP wants 52 seats, but BJP might not budge
Reportedly, RSP has demanded 52 out of 288 Assembly seats, but BJP isn't willing to hand more than 18 seats to its junior allies. Pankaja Munde, a BJP leader, who shared the stage with Jankar said his party will assign "appropriate number" of seats.
To note, Dutt's family has been associated with Congress
In 2009, Dutt was fielded by SP as its candidate from Uttar Pradesh capital, Lucknow. But the actor withdrew his nomination after a court didn't cancel his conviction in an Arms Act case. Interestingly, Dutt comes from a family of Congress supporters. His father Sunil Dutt was a minister in UPA-I era and sister Priya is a former Congress MP from Mumbai.
Dutt was accused of terrorism but charges were dropped later
Now, Dutt has had a controversial life. He was one of the most high-profile names accused of having a hand in 1993 Mumbai serial blasts. Dutt was charged under the stringent TADA Act but the charges were dropped later. However, he was convicted under the Arms Act and sentenced to five years jail term. He completed his sentence in 2016.