A day after Maharashtra''s ruling coalition partner Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSP) chief and state Minister Mahadev Jankar claimed that Sanjay Dutt would join his party on September 25, the Bollywood actor on Monday clarified he would not be joining any political party. "I will not be joining any political party. Mr Jankar is a dear friend and brother of mine and I humbly wish him good luck for his future endeavours,'' an official statement by Sanjay Dutt read.
Mahadev Jankar also clarified that the actor will not join RSP. ''I never said Dutt will join RSP. I said the actor was to share platform at our Sunday’s event, but he could not make it,'' he said.
The RSP has been an ally of the BJP-led Maharashtra government and Union government since 2014. Jankar, a cabinet-rank minister in the Devendra Fadnavis government, had earlier claimed that ''actor Sanjay Dutt was about to join the RSP''.
Jankar has been championing the cause of reservation for the Dhangar (shepherd) community. According to Deccan Herald, in four Lok Sabha seats and 30 plus Assembly seats in Maharashtra and Marathwada regions, the Dhangars have a sizable presence and could be a deciding factor.
Rumours of Dutt joining politics had been doing the rounds before Lok Sabha elections 2019 too, but the actor had quashed them. Dutt was a Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate for the Lucknow Lok Sabha constituency in 2009, but withdrew after the court refused to suspend his conviction under the Arms Act. In the Lok Sabha elections, he had campaigned for Priya Dutt, who was a Congress candidate from Mumbai.
(With inputs from IANS)