Just days ahead of the West Bengal Assembly elections that is scheduled to be held in eight phases starting March 27, the Bharatiya Janata Party roped in Bollywood’s ‘70s and ‘80s star Mithun Chakraborty to join the saffron party in an attempt to influence Bangla votes.
The star of hit films like ‘Disco Dancer’, ‘Mrigayaa’ and ‘Agneepath, Dada, as Chakraborty is often addressed by his millions of fans, joined the BJP at a Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally at the Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata on Sunday in presence of other top BJP leaders.
Talking to reporters, Chakraborty said he joined the BJP because from his very childhood days he dreamt of serving poor and downtrodden and now, him being in the BJP, he would be able to fulfil his lifelong dream.
The actor also expressed confidence in BJP’s victory in West Bengal saying Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress had failed to live up to the expectations of the people of his state and were vying for a change in the power structure.
“You can call me selfish but the fact remains I have always wanted to be with poor people so I could fight for them,” he said comparing himself to
Pouring his charm on his fans who had gathered at the rally in large number, Chakraborty recited some of his well-known one-liners from his hit movies.
"Marbo ekhaney, lash porbay shoshaney (I will beat you up here but your body will be found at the crematorium," he said the line from his hit Bengali political film, "MLA Fatakeshto".
Continuing to enthrall the crowd, the 70-year-old actor asked the voters not to think of him as a harmless creature.
“I am pure cobra; one bite and you will turn into a photograph,” the National Award winner said amid thunderous applause by his doting fans.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Saugata Roy pooh-poohed Chakraborty’s sudden desire to ‘help the poor’ saying the actor had no credibility because of his political past and had no influence among the voters of West Bengal.
“We have leant that that the BJP coerced Mithun Chakraborty into joining the party by threatening to open cases against him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED),” Roy said.
ED is the powerful investigative agency in India that is generally used in high-profile corruption cases against people in high places including politicians, businessmen, and film stars.
“He was in Rajya Sabha as the TMC candidate. Then corruption charges were leveled against him by the BJP forcing him to leave the upper house. Now he has joined the BJP. He, however, has no credibility as he is a has-been in the film world and has changed parties many times based on his convenience. He started as a Naxalite and then went on to join the Communist Party of India-Marxist. He then joined the TMC that sent him to the Rajya Sabha and now that he faces corruption case in the Sharadha Chit Fund, he conveniently joins hands with those who had threatened him in the first place,” the TMC MP said.