Sanjay Dutt set to join Rashtriya Samaj Paksha claims Minister

Updated: Aug 26, 2019, 10:22 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Rashtriya Samaj Paksh party founder and Cabinet minister, Mahadev Jankar at a party event disclosed that Sanjay Dutt set to join the party on September 25

Actor Sanjay Dutt set to join Rashtriya Samaj Paksha, party founder and Cabinet minister Mahadev Jankar
Actor Sanjay Dutt set to join Rashtriya Samaj Paksha, party founder and Cabinet minister Mahadev Jankar

Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt is set to re-enter politics, according to a minister from Maharashtra nearly after ten years his maiden political venture failed to take off from Uttar Pradesh as a Samajwadi Party candidate. According to news agency, PTI, the actor on September 25 is set to join the Rashtriya Samaj Paksh (RSP), Mahadev Jankar, the party founder and Cabinet minister disclosed on Sunday. The RSP is a junior ally of the ruling BJP in Maharashtra.

The news agency also reported that Mahadev Jankar claimed that the RSP was tapping the film industry to expand the party which mainly represents 'Dhangar' or the shepherd community. "...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," announced Mahadev Jankar, who holds Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development portfolios. He also played a pre-recorded video of Sanjay Dutt in which the latter has greeted the RSP and addressed Mahadev Jankar as his "brother".

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Since the 2014 Maharashtra Assembly elections, RSP has been part of the BJP-led NDA. Out of the six candidates, RSP candidate Rahul Kul had won from Daund seat. In 2009, Mahadev Jankar unsuccessfully contested against Sharad Pawar, the NCP chief from Madha Lok Sabha constituency. Meanwhile, Mahadev Jankar has demanded more seats compared to 2014 for his party to contest the upcoming assembly elections. Commenting on reservation for the Dhangar community, he stated, "Of the total work (on reservation), 60 per cent work has been done so far. The 'Dhangar' (shepherd) community is getting many benefits compared to what it used to get earlier".

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According to news agency, PTI, the Dhangar community has been demanding reservation under the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category. They are currently classified under the VJNT (Vimukta Jati Nomadic Tribes) grouping. In 2009, actor Sanjay Dutt was a Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate for the Lucknow Lok Sabha constituency but he withdrew after the court refused to suspend his conviction under the Arms Act.

Sanjay Dutt was later appointed as the general secretary of the SP but resigned and subsequently quit the party. Sunil Dutt, father of the actor had represented as a Congress leader for five terms from the Mumbai North West constituency. During 2004-May 2005 before his death, he had also served as the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports in the UPA-I government. Sanjay Dutt's sister Priya Dutt is a former MP of the Congress from Mumbai.

With inputs from PTI

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