Mumbai: The tension brewing in the Samajwadi Party only increased on Saturday as actor-turned-politician Sanjay Dutt followed Amar Singh’s footsteps and resigned from the post of General Secretary.
Addressing a press conference here on Saturday night Dutt said, “When the Supreme Court did not give me chance to contest Lok Sabha elections, Amar Singh made me the general secretary of the party. He had said both of us will work for the party from the same position. If he is no more the General Secretary, I am also quitting the post today.”
"Amar Singh was hurt by many people in the party. I am also feeling hurt that he was hurt. If he is not the national General Secretary, I will also not be in the same post," Dutt said.
But the actor-politician also remarked that he still respected ‘Netaji’ (Mulayam Singh Yadav).
"I have always had respect for Mulayam Singh. But hurting a person like Amar Singh is not good," he said.
Sanjay Dutt claimed that he would continue in the party as a worker and would quit from it only if Amar Singh did. He also told that he was open to joining any other party on at Amar’s behest.
Answering queries Dutt told reporters that since career was affected after Singh’s resignation on health grounds, he had decided to quit.
The filmstar-turned-politician also admitted that he was deeply hurt by senior leader Ramgopal Yadav’s comments stating that SP did not benefit from the film stars. Ramgopal is Mulayam Singh Yadav’s brother.
“"We (actors) are touchy people. I feel hurt. I had slogged in UP polls but there is no recognition for this in the party...I am happy that I am quitting the post,” Dutt reacted.
"As actors, we talk straight from heart. We make people laugh and cry. I will remain an actor and an ordinary worker of the party," he said.
To a query whether he had sought permission from Amar Singh before quitting the post, he said "I have told him that I will do this. But he advised me against resigning. I told him you are my elder brother and we will be on the same pedestal."
The actor-politician added that he lamented the kind of treatment meted out to Amar Singh after the leader laboriously toiled to build the party. He cited the example of the latter campaigning for the part despite his kidney problem.
Following these developments, speculations are rife that Bollywood actresses-turned politicians Jaya Bacchan, Jaya Prada and Bhojpuri singer-actor Manoj Tiwary may also follow the suite and put in papers soon.
With PTI inputs
First Published: Sunday, January 10, 2010, 00:42