Mithun Chakraborty to share stage with PM Modi in Kolkata
Mithun Chakraborty, actor and former Rajya Sabha member from the Trinamool Congress, is reportedly set to share the stage with PM Narendra Modi at his rally at Kolkata's Brigade Parade Ground on Sunday. While Chakraborty has earlier denied plans to join the BJP, this has given rise to speculations of him joining the saffron party ahead of the West Bengal Assembly polls. Here's more.
Interestingly, speculations about Chakraborty attending PM Modi's rally and joining the BJP come days after the actor hosted RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat at his Mumbai bungalow on February 16. Meanwhile, sources in the BJP also claim Chakraborty is just one of the many important faces in West Bengal that the saffron party will deploy against CM Mamata Banerjee's regime in the upcoming polls.
Earlier, Chakraborty downplayed his meeting with Bhagwat saying he had a "spiritual relationship" with the RSS chief. "It is a very deep spiritual relation. There was a plan that he would come to my home when he visits Mumbai. It so happened that I returned to Mumbai from Lucknow after a shoot and he too is in Mumbai," he said about hosting Bhagwat.
Chakraborty was elected to Rajya Sabha in 2014. However, he resigned in 2016, citing ill-health. Before quitting the Upper House, he got embroiled in the Saradha Chit Fund scandal. He was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate about Rs. 1.2 crore he received as the brand ambassador of Saradha Group's companies. He, however, returned the amount to the ED and later resigned from Rajya Sabha.
While it is unclear whether Chakraborty is contesting the upcoming Assembly elections, observers believe what he says about the Trinamool Congress and CM Banerjee during the rally will be crucial. Meanwhile, sources say some more popular Bengali faces would join the BJP in the coming days. The polls in West Bengal would be held between March 27 and April 29 in eight phases.
"There are many Bengalis in the state and outside who are important people, concerned about Bengal's downward slide under Mamata Banerjee. Mithun Chakraborty is one of them," said state BJP Vice-President Jay Prakash Majumdar. To note, the 70-year-old actor enjoys a huge following in the state. He's worked in over 350 films in Bengali, Hindi, Odia, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Punjabi, among other languages.