What has fueled the speculation is Mithun da's hour-long meeting with the chief of BJP's mentor RSS, Mohan Bhagwat, over breakfast at the actor's home in Mumbai on Tuesday morning
Speculation is rife that Bollywood actor Mithun Chakraborty may soon join India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of West Bengal.
What has fueled the speculation is Mithun da's (as he is affectionately called) hour-long meeting with the chief of BJP's ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Mohan Bhagwat, over breakfast at the 70-year-old actor's Madh Island home in Mumbai on Tuesday morning.
Though Mithunda brushed aside the rumor during his interaction with the media later in the day, saying the meeting was more of "a spiritual connect" between them.
“When one visits home, it is assumed that he must love me and my family. He asked me to bring everyone to Nagpur. That's all we discussed. He had breakfast. There was no discussion about ‘rajneeti’ [politics],” Mithunda said.
Sources told UNB that BJP would prefer to bet on a fresh face in West Bengal politics rather than projecting one of the three current contenders for the coveted post, adding: "BJP state President Dilip Ghosh, and Trinamool Congress turncoats Suvendu Adhikari and Mukul Roy are all eyeing for the chief minister's post in West Bengal.”
But experts also told UNB that Mithunda would be an ideal CM candidate for BJP as he was a Trinamool Congress parliamentarian in the past.
“His induction into BJP will also help the party exploit his star popularity and larger appeal, given that Trinamool Congress has been roping in many Bengali actors of late," said Rita Niyogi, a retired professor.
In the past four to five weeks, veteran bangali actor Deepankar Dey, popular star Koushani Mukherjee, and leading TV artists Bharat Kaul, Sritama Bhattacharjee, and Ranjeeta Dash have joined the Trinamool Congress. The party already has two popular film actresses in the lower house of Parliament -- Nusrat Jahan and Mimi Chakraborty.
According to Niyogi, Mithunda's political prospects appear bright post-BJP’s rumored CM face Sourav Ganguly's reluctance to join politics, particularly after his heart attack last month.
"BJP has undoubtedly scored many defections from the Trinamool Congress, led by Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee, but it's desperately looking for a CM face in West Bengal. RSS, which is campaigning in the state ahead of the assembly elections, is more worried about the party's poll prospects. So, Mithunda would be a good bet," Niyogi said.
Born in Barisal and brought up in West Bengal, Mithunda made his acting debut with the art-house drama “Mrigayaa” in 1976, for which he won his first National Film Award for Best Actor. He was nicknamed the "dancing star" of Bollywood after he played Jimmy in the 1982 film “Disco Dancer.”
He later won two more National Film Awards for his performances in “Tahader Katha” (1992) and “Swami Vivekananda” (1998). He has performed in a total of 350 films in his 45-year career. He also owns Monarch Group, a holding company with interests in the hospitality and educational sectors.