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Sanjay Dutt also quits as SP general secretary
Mumbai, Jan 9 (IANS):
Published on 9 Jan. 2010 11:27 PM IST
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Barely 10 months after he joined the Samajwadi Party (SP), Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt Saturday night quit as its general secretary, expressing sadness at the way his “mentor” Amar Singh had been treated. He, however, said he would remain in the party for the time being. He said he was following in the footsteps of Amar Singh, who had made a lot of sacrifices for the party and yet was humiliated by its leadership, prompting him to quit as its general secretary. Dutt said he was “saddened” and “hurt” at the way Amar Singh, “who had campaigned for the party in the April-May 2009 general elections despite his ill-health and kidney ailments had been treated by the party”. “After (my mentor) and elder brother Amar Singh stepped down as general secretary, I have no right to hold this post,” Dutt said at a press conference at his Bandra residence here. He said after the Supreme Court had barred him from contesting the general elections, Amar Singh had made him the party’s general secretary in April so that “two brothers were at a an equivalent level”. Dutt, however, ruled out resigning from the party as long as Amar Singh stays as a member, adding he would continue to serve the party as an ordinary worker. He said that he would definitely go and campaign for state unit chief Abu Asim Azmi’s son Farhan Azmi, who is the party candidate for the Bhiwandi assembly by-election next week. “Amar Singh is like an elder brother to me. When he leaves SP, I shall also leave. I will go wherever he goes, do whatever he tells me to do,” Dutt said. Dutt also expressed regret at Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav’s remarks that it had not gained anything from enrolling film stars in its ranks and they had not even helped it in getting one seat. Asked for a response, Azmi pleaded ignorance as he was campaigning for his son in Bhiwandi. “Whatever you want to speak about Sanjay Dutt or Amar Singh, please contact the party headquarters in New Delhi or Lucknow,” he said. Amar Singh Wednesday announced his resignation as general secretary of the Samajwadi Party and from his other posts, citing health reasons. “I hardly had any rest. Doctors told me it is not good. At the age of 53, I am entitled to earned leave and need to give more priority to my family. After 20 years of hard work, they (the family) should get priority over Mulayam-ji and the party,” Amar Singh, who had undergone a kidney transplant last summer and is one of the most visible and quoted politicians of the country, told the NDTV news channel. However, party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had made light of Amar Singh’s resignation. Amar Singh continued to be in the Samajwadi Party (SP) and there was “nothing big” if he quit from party posts, Mulayam Singh said in Etawah in Uttar Pradesh Thursday. Confirming Amar Singh had said he was resigning from various posts in the party, Mulayam Singh said: “So what? There’s nothing big in it if an office bearer resigns from the party’s posts... He is still with the Samajwadi Party.” “We will sit together and sort out the issue... it’s an internal matter of the party,” he said in reply to a question whether he would persuade Amar Singh to withdraw his resignation.

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