In the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, several political parties want to nominate celebrities to increase their popularity among the masses. The Samajwadi party decided to do the same and somehow managed to nominate the only actor in Indian history who has been charged under the terrorist and disruptive activities act. Sanjay Dutt is likely to represent SP from Ghaziabad constituency, going against BJP candidate and sitting MP from Ghaziabad, General Vijay Kumar Singh who is also the Minister of State for External Affairs.
Sanjay Dutt’s father, late Sunil Dutt was the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports in the Manmohan Singh Government (2004-2005) and Sanjay Dutt’s sister, Priya Dutt is a former Member of Parliament for Mumbai North West. Well known for his acute drug addiction and terror associations, Sanjay Dutt was arrested under the provisions of the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Prevention Act in 1993. While he was granted bail by the Supreme Court of India on May 5, 1993, on July 4, 1994, his bail was canceled and he was re-arrested. After a series of bails and re-sentencing, he was eventually released on 25th February 2016 from Yerwada Central Jail in Pune. In 2009, Sanjay Dutt was to contest the Lok Sabha Elections from Samajwadi Party; however, he withdrew a year later when the court refused to suspend his conviction.
The constituency of Ghaziabad used to be his father, Sunil Dutt’s seat. Kumar Vishwas, who is one of the founders of AAP is also likely to contest from Ghaziabad on a Congress ticket. According to a report in News18, “There are speculations that the Aam Aadmi Party’s rebel leader and poet Kumar Vishwas will be in the field on Congress ticket. On the other hand, SP-BSP combine can play the stakes on Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt to give them a hit.”
Sanjay Dutt is an adjudicated terror convict. It was wrong enough that people with proven terror associations were allowed to be showcased in movies, but now they are being made political leaders?
It is no secret that Samajwadi Party has no personal problems in nominating alleged criminals, but the candidature of Sanjay Dutt, being a popular figure is going to have serious repercussions. By giving him a ticket, Akhilesh Yadav led SP is ratifying the deeds of a person committing acts of terror against the nation. Moreover, Sanjay Dutt himself had stated after his withdrawal from SP, “It was a mistake on my part to join Samajwadi Party. Inside my heart I am a Congress man… always with the Congress.”
Akhilesh Yadav’s desperation has taken an unprecedented turn. Not only does he want to hand over his party ticket to a person who has been convicted for possession of illegal arms , but to that culprit who believes himself to be a Congressman. It is just a publicity stunt to gain popularity in General VK Singh’s constituency. However, with the multiple surgical strikes which happened in the short duration of one month, the entire country has unified against terrorism. In this nationalistic scenario, nominating a terror convict isn’t going to reap much benefits for the SP.