Popular Bengali actor Mithun Chakraborty who recently joined the BJP ahead of the Assembly elections in West Bengal will reportedly campaign for BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari in Nandigram.
Banerjee will contest from the seat, where BJP has pitted Suvendu Adhikari against her.
Apart from Chakraborty, Suvendu Adhikari will be joined by Union Ministers Smriti Irani and Dharmendra Pradhan who will accompany him for his nomination on 12 March.
Speculations were rife that Mithun would be joining the saffron camp to boost the BJP’s growing image in the state.
After joining the BJP, Chakraborty said, “It is a dream that has come true for me today. Coming from a small locality in North Kolkata called Jorabagan, I did dream of becoming something big, but never did I imagine that I will get a chance to share a stage with the biggest political leaders of the country, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
Subtly hitting back at the ruling Trinamool Congress for calling the BJP “outsiders”, Chakraborty added, “I am a Bengali and I believe that anyone who has grown up here has a right over this land. I promise to stand up and fight for the rights of every person living in West Bengal.”
Referring to himself as a “cobra”, he said, “I am not ‘Jol Dhora’, I am not ‘Bele Bora’, I am a pure cobra. You will be finished in one bite. Now, remember the new slogan — Ek chhobole chhobi (One bite and you will become a photo).”
The veteran actor was handed over the party’s flag on Sunday by Vijayvargiya and state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh.
Chakraborty was a member of the Rajya Sabha from the Trinamool Congress, but had quit the Upper House after his name cropped up in the Sharada chit fund scam.
West Bengal will see a triangular contest this time with TMC, Congress-Left alliance and the BJP in the fray.
The Assembly elections in the state will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 29. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.