Mithun Chakraborty, one of the most popular Bollywood actors of yesteryear and television presenter on dance shows, joined the federally ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday.
He joined the BJP just before Prime Minister Narendra Modi was about to hold his first official electoral rally in the poll-bound West Bengal city of Kolkata.
Having previously joined West Bengal's presently ruling party TMC in 2014, the award-winning actor was nominated to the upper house of parliament, Rajya Sabha, on the party ticket. But he left the party in 2016, citing health issues.
"It was like a dream come true", the 70-year-old actor said after joining the BJP from the stage.
Prime Minister Modi also congratulated and praised the actor.
The BJP has been inducting Bengali film personalities almost en masse for the last two years.
The newcomers include Bengali actors Rahul Chakraborty, Sayantika Banerjee, Sanghamitra Choudhury, Debashree Bhattacharya, Rudranil Ghosh, Yash Dasgupta, Paayel Sarkar, Hiran Chatterjee, Papiya Adhikari, and Srabanti Chatterjee.
While celebrities like Babul Supriyo, Rupa Ganguly, and Locket Chatterjee have been associated with the BJP for a long time, others like Rimjhim Mitra, Anjana Basu, and Kanchana Moitra joined the party after the 2019 elections.
The BJP is out to take the state of West Bengal. For this the BJP has not only garnered the support of actors and celebrities, but managed to convince more than 10 prominent figures from the state's ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) to shift loyalties.
West Bengal Chief and TMC leader Mamata Banerjee is also leaving no stone unturned to prevent the BJP from claiming the state during the polls. A well-known critic of Prime Minister Modi, she has accused the BJP of stirring up hatred in a bid to win its first election in West Bengal.