Mithun joins BJP, PM Modi praises him at Bengal rally
- The actor repeated two of his famous one-liners from a couple of Bengali movies.
Actor Mithun Chakraborty, a former superstar in Bollywood and an icon in Bengal, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Kolkata rally on Sunday about an hour before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plane arrived in the city, stoking speculation that he might become the BJP’s chief ministerial face in the assembly polls.
Senior Bengal BJP leaders did not comment on the speculation. “Never before did anyone join the BJP at the Prime Minister’s rally. Since we had to carry out the formality, Chakraborty was welcomed into the party by national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya before Modi ji’s arrival,” a vice-president of the Bengal BJP said on condition of anonymity.
Making a short speech around 1.45pm, Chakraborty said, “Have faith in your Dada (elder brother). I have always done what I promised. I will keep my word and never abandon you.”
The actor repeated two of his famous one-liners from a couple of Bengali movies.
“I am about to start my campaign. I know you want to hear my famous dialogue ‘Maarbo ekhane, lash porbe soshane’ (I will hit you here and the body will land at the crematorium) but there is an even better one. ‘Ami joldhora noi. Ami gokhro. Ek chhobolei chhobi’ (I am not a water snake. I am a cobra. One bite will turn you into a photograph). This will be more appropriate now,” Chakraborty said.
In the middle of his speech, Modi referred to the veteran actor. “A great son of the soil, Mithun Chakraborty, is here. His life and struggle are examples for the people.”
Reacting to Chakraborty’s re-entry into politics TMC Lok Sabha member Saugata Roy said, “Mithun cannot be trusted. He was earlier with the CPI(M). After that Mamata Banerjee sent him to the Rajya Sabha...He has surfaced again. Modi said Mithun is a son of Bengal. But is he fit to be the chief minister of Bengal? Does he qualify?”
Chakraborty, who was close to CPI(M) leader Subhas Chakraborty till the latter died, took part in many social welfare activities in Bengal in the 1990s.
After the TMC came to power, chief minister Mamata Banerjee made him a Rajya Sabha member in 2014. He resigned in 2016 citing health issues. TMC leaders, however, say the actor did not like his name being dragged into the Saradha chit fund case.
Chakraborty was summoned by the ED in 2015 in connection with the case. He returned ₹1.16 crore he received as brand ambassador for the group to ED.