The former Member of Parliament (MP) and sister of veteran Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, Priya Dutt, has issued a statement declaring that she doesn’t wish to contest the upcoming general election and want to take a break from active politics. In a statement issued by Dutt on twitter, Dutt announced that she would not contest the upcoming Lok Sabha election 2019 due to her struggle in keeping a balance between personal and political life. “I will not be contesting 2019 general elections. These past years have been exciting and enlightening for me. However, I struggled to keep a balance between my personal and political life. While I did my best and managed, it took a toll on many aspects of my life,” Dutt said in a statement on Monday. “A couple of months ago, I shared with Hon’ble Congress President Shri Rahul Gandhi that it was time for me to take a break from active politics. When I agreed to enter electoral politics in 2005, I was clear that I would contest three terms and step out for a while. There is more to life than politics and I also wanted the freedom to experience and explore other aspects of my life too.,” Dutt’s statement read further.
Dutt was relieved from her post of Secretary in All India Congress Committee (AICC) last year and since then it was highly speculated that Dutt may not contest in 2019 general election. It was also speculated that renowned star campaigner, Nagma, may get the chance to contest from her seat. There were also speculations that the sitting Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Arif (Naseem) Khan may be given the responsibility to contest for the MP post from the Chandivali constituency. However, the final decision on who will contest after Priya Dutt leaves the seat, is still a matter of contemplation for the Congress party.
In a three page statement, Dutt highlighted that her constituency which comes in the Mumbai North Central, popularly known as Chandivali Vidhan Sabha, doesn’t belong to any one politician but to the people of the constituency. She thanked all the party members, activists and other party workers too for supporting her throughout her active political journey. As she concluded, she expressed her gratitude towards her inspiration, Sonia Gandhi, and highlighted that she will work for the people through her social work.
Dutt came into politics in 2005, and during these years, she contested 3 times for the MP election and served as the MP from Mumbai North West from 2005 to 2009, while Mumbai North Central constituency from 2009 to 2014. Dutt lost her seat to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) contender, Poonam Mahajan, reportedly by a margin of 1.86 lac votes in 2014.