Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, denied permission to contest elections by the Supreme Court, was appointed on Thursday as the national general secretary of the Samajwadi Party.”Our leader Mulayam Singh Yadav has appointed Sanjay as the national general secretary,” SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav told reporters in New Delhi.He said Sanjay will campaign for SP candidates in the Lok Sabha elections. Dutt, who was also present at the party’s central office here, said “I would work for the party with utmost dedication… I am very happy.”

The actor, who was the SP candidate for the prestigious Lucknow Lok Sabha seat, was denied permission to contest polls by the Supreme Court which refused to stay his conviction in connection with the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.The SP is yet to decide on a fresh candidate for the Lucknow seat, which is at present represented by BJP leader and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Recently, Mulayam Singh had appointed former BJP leader Kalyan Singh’s son Rajveer as the national general secretary of the party.

When asked to explain what he meant by saying that Congress was responsible for his father Sunil Dutt’s death, Sanjay said, “it is a well known fact that Dutt Sahab was hurt by comments made by Sanjay Nirupam about him. He made those comments about my father when he was in Shiv Sena and later joined Congress”.”Sanjay Nirupam’s induction in Congress had hurt my father. This everybody knows… he was a big and respectable personality, and Nirupam should have respected Dutt Sahab as an elder,” he said.

Sanjay had made the comment yesterday during an interview to a television channel. Asked about his canvassing for Priya Dutt in 2005, when she stood for the bye election to Sunil Dutt’s seat, Sanjay said he did it as a brother.I was not in politics at that time, she is my sister and I canvassed for her as a brother, I will do anything for her as her brother,” Sanjay said. On whether Samajwadi Party should maintain relations with Congress, the party whom he holds responsible for his father’s death, Dutt said, “this is politics, my elders will decide on this. I have just come, I am too new and have lots to learn, as I have become general secretary of the party only today.”

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