Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday drove to Mithun Chakraborty’s residence in Mumbai for a chat over breakfast, following which the actor proclaimed he had a “spiritual relation” with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief.
Although both sides sought to dismiss claims that the content could be political, the meeting took place in the run-up to the Bengal elections.
“Mohanji ke saath mera ek spiritual relation hai aur bahut dino se hai (I have a spiritual relation with Mohan Bhagwat and it has been there for a long time),” Mithun told reporters after the meeting. “Koi rajneeti nahi, kuch nahi (There was no politics, nothing at all). Only blessings and love. Nothing else,” the yesteryear superstar added.
Officially, the RSS refrained from saying anything and privately claimed there was no political motive behind the meeting.
Internally, BJP leaders said that though Mithun may not like to formally join the party, they would be more than happy if he agreed to campaign.
“Mithun Chakraborty’s popularity is particularly high in rural Bengal and if he campaigns for us then it would help us in a big way,” a BJP leader said.
RSS and BJP managers widely circulated a picture of the meeting. The BJP is known not to miss any opportunity in garnering votes with optics. Party insiders said the picture was sure to stir a discussion in Bengal, that has a deep emotional connect with Mithun although he has reduced his film load, and make the BJP more acceptable.
The BJP and the RSS have been working in tandem in a desperate bid to win the Bengal Assembly elections. Recently, a coordination meeting of different Sangh parivar outfits and the BJP was held to discuss the strategy for Bengal. BJP and RSS leaders feel that after Assam and the other north-eastern states, winning Bengal was of tremendous ideological significance for them.
Apart from his Bengali roots, the popular actor’s significance lies in the fact that he had been associated with the Trinamul Congress. Mithun had been elected to the Rajya Sabha on a Trinamul ticket in 2014. He, however, resigned and quit the party in 2016 citing health reasons.
Mithun’s decision to step down had coincided with his name cropping up during the CBI probe into the Saradha scandal. Although he was not made an accused, he had been questioned by the Enforcement Directorate since he had been one of the brand ambassadors of Saradha.
Mithun, who had for long been associated with the Left before becoming a Trinamul MP, had paid a visit to the RSS headquarters in Nagpur last year. According to him, he had been moved by the “sacrifice and dedication” of the RSS towards the country and on Tuesday stressed his deep attachment with the Sangh.
“I’m still attached to the Sangh,” Mithun said when asked about his visit to the RSS headquarters and his association with the saffron outfit. He said he had invited Bhagwat to his home and now planned to go along with his family to Nagpur.
“Mohanji invited me to come with my family to Nagpur and I will go,” Mithun said. He also said that he would give his services to the RSS’s work for the country whenever he is asked for.