Former Congress MP Priya Dutt on Monday announced that she will not be contesting the 2019 general elections, asking the constituents to vote discerningly. Ms Dutt. has represented Mumbai North-Central constituency twice and was defeated by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Poonam Mahajan in 2014.
“This constituency never belonged to my father, to me, or for that matter to any one person; it belongs to the people who make it. We come in and are chosen by the people as caretakers and must give opportunity for fresh and new ideas,” said Ms. Dutt in an official statement issued on Monday.
“To all my constituents, please vote discerningly. While I am committed to working for the party and its candidate, I want to assure you that I will not support anyone my conscience does not permit me to.
I have always been sincere with the people of my constituency, even at times when the truth has hurt me. I maintain that has worked for the people and for me,” she said.
Last week, The Hindu had reported that Ms. Dutt is not interested in contesting from the Mumbai North-Central seat. Among the many names that are being discussed presently include that of Congress leader Raj Babbar.
Ms. Dutt in her statement said that she wants to spend more time with her two sons and the rest of the family, which she could not do in the past due to political commitments.
“Over the years, I have been working for the people through the Nargis Dutt Foundation, which I believe is the true legacy of my parents. I am carrying forth that legacy to the best of my ability,” she said.
In October 2018, Ms. Dutt was removed from the post of All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary. Since then the news of her disinterest in contesting the elections was making rounds.
The constituency represented by Ms. Dutt was earlier won by her father and actor late Sunil Dutt. “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,” she added.