Actor Mithun Chakraborty ended all speculation on Sunday as he reached Brigade Parade ground in Kolkata where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a mega rally. The actor joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the rally which is scheduled to start at 2 pm.
BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya met Chakraborty on Saturday evening at his Kolkata residence and announced that the actor will attend PM Modi's rally. He was present on stage with Chakraborty on Sunday.
Chakraborty has been a successful actor, and was even sent to the Rajya Sabha by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in 2014 after it stormed to power in state in 2011. His political sting was, however, short-lived, as Chakraborty resigned citing health reasons in 2016.
He was embroiled in the Saradha scam controversy as he was the brand ambassador of the group that ran a ponzi scam in Bengal. Many other TMC leaders were associated with the group.
Following this, he distanced himself from both politics and the public eye and was believed to have undergone treatment abroad for his chronic back problem.
Visuals tweeted by news agency ANI showed a decent crowd at Brigade Parade Ground. The BJP has claimed that 10 lakh people will attend PM Modi's rally.
The Prime Minister will be addressing the mega poll rally as West Bengal heads for an eight-phase assembly election starting March 27. This is one of his many rallies planned by the BJP which is aiming to utilise PM Modi's star power to intensify its campaign against the TMC.
Many BJP leaders have announced that they will dislodge the Mamata Banerjee government in this election. However, the TMC has rubbished all the claims saying that it will come to power once again.
A number of TMC leaders have joined the BJP in the run-up to elections, the most high profile being Suvendu Adhikari. He has been named as a contestant from Nandigram and will face the chief minister herself who has left her Bhawanipore constituency to take on Adhikari. While the BJP leader has vowed to defeat Banerjee, the chief minister has called it a "smiley contest" that she will win easily.