By Quaid Najmi
Mumbai, Feb 16 (IANS) When Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat early on Tuesday morning met National Award winning Bollywood actor Mithun Chakraborty at his residence, it naturally ended up triggering intense speculation in political circles.
Bhagwat, 70, came-a-calling on Chakraborty at his bungalow in the picturesque Madh area of Malad west suburb, fuelling theories of the star’s potential comeback to active politics after a five-year hiatus.
The duo spent close to two hours at the Chakraborty residence in the presence of the actor’s entire family, though it is not known what may have exactly transpired in the morning ‘chai pe charcha’.
However, after giving a warm send-off to Bhagwat, the 70-year-old bearded dancing-cum-action star, sporting a dark woollen cap, firmly dismissed all rumours of his possible return to politics in a soft tone.
The acclaimed actor gently added that Bhagwat, whom he met in Uttar Pradesh last October, had paid him a return visit. Earlier, the duo had also met in Nagpur, where the RSS headquarters are located.
“Do not speculate, I and Bhagwat have a spiritual connect. We had met in Lucknow and I had requested him to visit me whenever he visited Mumbai,” Chakraborty said.
Engaging in a light friendly banter with mediapersons thronging outside his bungalow, close to the Arabian Sea in a cool green corner of north-west Mumbai, the actor revealed that “Bhagwat-ji is very fond of my family” and had promised to visit him whenever he would come to Mumbai.
To persistent queries about ending his ‘political sanyas’, Chakraborty laughed mischievously and said: “You are linking (this) because of the (West Bengal) elections. If there were no elections, you wouldn’t..!”
Saying a determined ‘nyet’ to politics, Mithun Da — as he is popular among his fans and admirers — said he would love to work with the poor but prefer to keep off any politicking.
Reported to be close to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Chakraborty is a former All India Trinamool Congress Party (AITCP) Rajya Sabha MP, but had quit in 2016 on health grounds.
Nevertheless, Mithun Da, a Bengali, remains immensely dear to the masses in his home state with which he maintains strong links, albeit apolitical.
An RSS functionary in Mumbai endorsed the actor’s stance, stating that “the meeting was purely private in nature and nothing more should be attached to it.”
Interestingly, the Bhagwat-Chakraborty rendezvous, with tight police security, comes ahead of the Election Commission of India’s plans to announce the much-anticipated West Bengal Assembly elections.
(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at: [email protected])