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I am not joining Shiv Sena

Priya Dutt says that she will remain loyal to the Congress party until the end of her political career.

Priya Datta-AV

Former Congress MP Priya Dutt clarified that she doesn’t have any intention to join Shiv Sena. Ms Dutt also added that she will continue to remain associated with the Congress until the end of her political career. Earlier speculations were rife about Priya quitting Congress and shifting loyalties towards Shiv Sena after she had paid a surprise visit to the party president Uddhav Thackeray’s residence at Matoshree in Bandra last month. This is her second meeting with Uddhav in last six months which triggered speculations about whether she will join Sena.

There were also reports in media about Ms Dutt being unhappy with senior Congress party leaders for sidelining her in the aftermath of Lok Sabha poll debacle. The morale of the Congress party workers too has hit an all time low after its loss in the recently concluded assembly polls held in West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Assam. The road ahead looks tough for Congress as it is keen to revive itself ahead of the crucial Uttar Pradesh assembly polls to be held next year. There were reports about whether Priya Dutt will quit Congress to join Sena before the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation election in 2017.

Priya Dutt termed the rumours about her joining Shiv Sena as baseless. She said, “I will remain loyal to the Congress party until the end of my political career. Even my father had worked for the development of Congress party until his last breath. There was nothing political in my meeting with Uddhav Thackeray. I met him owing to personal relations,” said Priya Dutt.

“My intention is to collect maximum funds for celebrating the anniversary of Nargis Dutt Foundation. For this purpose, I had met Mr Uddhav to seek his permission for using his photographs and he has already given his nod for the same,” she added.

When Priya had met Uddhav last month, the Congress said there was nothing wrong in individuals meeting in a personal capacity.

“I am not aware of the meeting. However, people have a right to meet anyone in personal capacity,” said Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam.

The Dutts and Thackerays stay in the same suburb of Bandra and share a healthy relationship because of the support the Thackerays extended during the incarceration of Sanjay Dutt in a 1993 bomb blast case.

Bal Thackeray, the then supremo of the Shiv Sena, had gone out of his way to help the actor who is Priya’s elder brother.

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