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As Sanjay Dutt’s Samajwadi Party campaign for the Lucknow constituency gathers pace, his colleagues in the industry are beginning to rally round. It’s still a little unclear that Sanjay will be able to contest the election bearing in mind some of his past brushes with the law, but everyone is assuming for the moment that this will be settled soon. Anil Kapoor, Suniel Shetty, Ajay Devgan, Arshad Warsi and David Dhawan have all offered their services. “Mr Dutt’s other friends we’ll approach as soon as Mr Dutt is cleared by the courts on March 30 to contest elections,” explained Dharam Oberai of Sanjay Dutt Films, “All his life and career Mr Dutt has been there for the film industry. I’m sure the industry would love to come forward for him now.”

Actress Amisha Patel, meanwhile, will be contesting a seat of her own – in Rajkot. “The actor has confirmed that she will be our candidate from Rajkot,” said Jayant Patel, Gujarat President of the NCP, “She is abroad at present, but will head to Rajkot as soon as she comes back.” He went on to support the party’s reasons for nominating Amisha. “Star value certainly works everywhere in the country. Amisha Patel has her roots in Gujarat. Her celebrity status and popularity will help us win.” American-educated Amisha is the grand-daughter of freedom fighter Rajni Patel and has degrees in Economics and Biogenetic Engineering.

Both Sanjay and Amisha are currently filming together for Chatur Singh Two Star.

And will Amitabh Bachchan be returning to politics after his brief foray into the Lok Sabha in the 1980s? Well, yes and no. Amitabh will be playing the role of a politician in Prakash Jha’s new movie Aarakhshan. The film is set against the employment quota system introduced in 1979 aimed at promoting equality amongst the different classes in India. The film will be shot in Bhopal. “After shooting my latest film Rajneeti in Bhopal, I have fallen in love with the city,” Prakash confided, “I have persuaded Mr Bachchan to shoot here — it’s the best place to shoot Aarakshan.”

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