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Sanjay Dutt and Wife Manyata Dutt at Political Rally in Lucknow

Lucknow is where politics has met Bollywood as Sanjay Dutt arrived there on Saturday for his first ever political rally. The shower of rose petals made it a filmy affair.

Actresses-turned-politicians Jayaprada and Jaya Bachchan add to the glamour as Munnabhai MP made his first political journey along with wife Manyata.

And since Sanjay had no clue of what politics means in Lucknow, he fell back to Gandhigiri. He promises to give everyone a jaadu ki jhappi (magical hug).

Dutt said he was going to speak Dil Se (from the heart) and so he spoke about his parents Sunil Dutt and Nargis Dutt's patriotism..

At the same time, he downplayed the rift within the family caused by his decision to contest on a Samajwadi Party ticket. He didn't mention that what may have prompted him to fight the elections alongside SP was a growing distance between wife Manyata and sister Priya Dutt, but he said that he owed a debt to SP General Secretary Amar Singh for Congress did not stand by him in his hour of crisis.

"After my father died, I thought that such a big party (Congress) was standing by me. But sadly, I was still alone," says he.

Sanjay's Gandhigiri and chemical lochas worked wonders with the audience but it is not easy for a man convicted for possession of a weapon to become the main electoral weapon of a politcal party.

If legal hurdles block his way, Manyata would be Samajwadi Party's replacement choice
and that could cause further rift with Priya.

The crowds in Lucknow were a compliment to Amar Singh's organisational power as he and not SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav has emerged as the face of the Samajwadi Party.

There is talk now of the Congress thinking of going slow on a pre-poll alliance and seat-sharing talks may receive another jolt because of this.

And though Sanjay says that he will not contest if BJP stalwart Atal Behar Vajpayee stands for elections from Lucknow, a point has been made - that though it was Gandhi who helped Munnabhai attain real stardom, his political script is being written by his mentor Amar Singh.

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