Mumbai

Ending two-month 'break', Priya to contest from Mumbai


Mumbai, Mar 13 (IANS): Ending her self-imposed political 'break' after two months, former Mumbai MP Priya Dutt bounced back on Wednesday by announcing she was back in the electoral fray to "save democracy".

"I am in the race and will contest this (2019) elections. I am fighting for the future of my children. It's a fight to save democracy," Dutt told the media.

The development came after Dutt, 52, on January 7 declared she would not contest the Lok Sabha polls as "it was time to take a break from active politics".

In a detailed statement, she said she had discussed the issue with Congress President Rahul Gandhi around November on her plans to "step out for a while" as she had made it clear in 2005.

Stepping in after the 'break', Dutt is now likely to be nominated from the Mumbai North-Central Lok Sabha constituency, from where she was elected in 2004 and 2009 before biting the dust in 2014.

Earlier, the Dutt family's favourite seat was also held by her father, the late Sunil Dutt, who served as a Union Minister till his demise in May 2005.

Although Dutt had said she would continue to work for the party, she made it clear that she would not support anyone "her conscience does not permit".

Her abrupt decision to withdraw from politics - shortly after she was dropped as an AICC Secretary - was largely viewed as a veiled attack on the alleged factionalism in Mumbai Congress headed by the aggressive Sanjay Nirupam.

Dutt's change of mind has reportedly been prompted after Gandhi recently prodded her to contest as the Congress was hard-pressed for a suitable counter to the Bharatiya Janata Party's outgoing MP Poonam Mahajan, insiders claim.

Daughter of the late actor couple Sanjay Dutt-Nargis Dutt and sister of actor Sanjay Dutt, Priya lives in Bandra, with her husband Owen Roncon and their sons Sumair and Siddharth.

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