Actor Mithun Chakraborty is set to share stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his rally on March 7 at Kolkata’s Brigade Parade ground, giving rise to speculations of him joining the Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of Bengal assembly elections.
Recently, popular Bengali actor Yash Dasgupta had joined the BJP along with more than half a dozen actors, including Papiya Adhikari, a veteran. A day before Dasgupta’s entry into politics, Chakraborty made headlines by hosting Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat at his Mumbai bungalow.
The 70-year-old film star said he had a “spiritual relationship" with Mohan Bhagwat. “I have a spiritual relation with him.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. So ‘jud gaye hum (we connected)’," he told reporters.
The BJP’s journey of making inroads into Tollywood began in 2019 after the party won 18 of Bengal’s 42 Lok Sabha seats. On July 18 that year, as many as 13 actors joined the BJP in Delhi and Kolkata. While none of them are stars, all are popular faces on television or the big screen.
Though Mithun Chakraborty denied any plans to join the BJP or politics, there are strong speculations that he may join the the saffron brigade in presence of PM Modi in Kolkata.
Chakraborty was once known for his radical Left leanings but later he became close to several top Left leaders including late Subhash Chakraborty. He earned fame after he debuted in Mrinal Sen’s award winning movie ‘Mrigayaa’.
In 2014, he was nominated as Rajya Sabha member by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee but after two years he resigned citing health issues. He was the brand ambassador of the now-defunct Saradha group of companies owned by Sudipta Sen (now behind bars).
He was summoned and questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in Mumbai in 2014 after it was found that an amount of about nearly 1.2 crore was transferred to his account from Saradha. In 2015, Chakraborty returned the money (Rs 1.2 Crore) he received from the scam-hit Saradha group of companies to the ED in Kolkata.
The actor has appeared in more than 350 films, including Bengali, Hindi, Odia, Bhojpuri, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Punjabi.
He won the National Film Award for best actor twice — in 1976 for ‘Mrigayaa’ and in 1996 for ‘Tahader Katha’. He also won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1998 for Swami Vivekananda.
Mithun, whose actual name is Gouranga Chakraborty, did his schooling at the Oriental Seminary in Kolkata. He has graduated in Chemistry from Scottish Church College under Calcutta University. He is an alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India. A comic book named ‘Jimmy Zhingchak’ is based on him.
West Bengal is all set to go to polls in eight phases from March 27 to April 29 and results to be announced on May 2.