RSS chief meets Mithun Chakraborty; actor says 'nothing to do with politics'
Chakraborty said he has nothing to do with politics as he is away from it now and wants to remain an actor.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat met veteran Bollywood actor and former Member of Parliament Mithun Chakraborty at his Mumbai residence on Tuesday morning. The meeting that lasted for around 90 minutes has sparked speculations in political circles ahead of West Bengal assembly elections which are scheduled to be held in the next few months.
Chakraborty told the media that the meeting had nothing to do with politics as he is away from it now and wants to remain an actor. The RSS too said that the meeting was pending for around two years and has no political connection.
“The first thing I wanted to say is that I have a spiritual relationship with Bhagwat ji which is also not new. He had once told me that he will come to meet me when he will be in Mumbai. He loves me and my family. Today, he was in the city and a meeting took place. You (media) are trying to connect dots because of West Bengal polls but the meeting has nothing to do with politics,” Chakraborty told reporters in response to a question after the meeting.
“I have always fought for the poor section of the society. Whoever will work for the welfare of the poor, I will support them anytime but this time no politics,” he said on a question of getting an offer to join another political party.
“I am far away from politics now. I am an actor and want to live like that,” he added, responding to another question.
The BJP is reportedly looking for a popular Bengali face for the Bengal polls and the meeting has triggered speculations if Chakraborty would be joining the party.
The popular Bollywood actor was nominated as a Rajya Sabha member by the Trinamool Congress in 2014 after Mamata Banerjee came to power in Bengal but resigned within two years citing health issues. He was also summoned by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the Saradha scam in 2015.
Chakraborty met the RSS chief in 2019 in Nagpur, which was termed as a ‘courtesy visit’. The actor spent an hour at the RSS headquarters and then visited the Hedgewar memorial.
Pramod Bapat, in-charge, western zone media relations, RSS, termed the meeting as a courtesy visit. “The meeting was pending for almost two years. Chakraborty wanted the RSS chief to visit his Mumbai residence for a long time. The RSS chief could not do it because of lockdown restrictions that stretched for months. Today’s meeting should not be linked to politics,” Bapat said.
"Bhagwat Ji met Chakraborty in a cordial atmosphere before the Bengal elections. The actor is loved by a wide section of Bengalis not just for his contribution to cinema but also to the nation. He was the country's highest individual income tax payer for four consecutive years. He returned the money he took from Saradha. That establishes his devotion to the nation. He is a thinking person. It is expected that Mithun will contribute positively to shape the future of Bengal which stands at the crossroads of history right now," said Bengal BJP vice-president Jay Prakash Majumdar.
The TMC was quick to react and described the meeting as BJP's act of desperation.
"The meeting shows the desperation of the BJP. Mithun is an actor who has confined himself to Ooty. He has no relevance in Bengal politics now. He was made a Rajya Sabha member by Mamata Banerjee but he quit after facing threats from the Enforcement Directorate," said TMC Lok Sabha member and party spokesperson Saugata Roy.
In 2015, Chakraborty returned ₹1.16 crore to the ED. He received the money when he was the brand ambassador of the Saradha group.