KOLKATA: After nearly a year's lull since his whirlwind campaign trail across West Bengal during the 2021 assembly elections, Bollywood star and BJP leader Mithun Chakraborty on Saturday again took a plunge into canvassing and appealed to the residents of Asansol to vote for party candidate Agnimitra Paul in the upcoming by-polls to the Lok Sabha constituency.
The saffron party's star campaigner, in a video message, described Paul, the MLA of Asansol Dakshin assembly seat, as his 'choto bon' (younger sister), and said that the fashion designer-turned-politician has always been in touch with him, "unlike some other people".
"Agni is my younger sister. I have met many people in my life's journey, but they have all snapped contact once they did not need my help anymore. But Agni is different. Not a day passes by when she does not inquire about me. She has been beside me in all situations."
"If she is so helpful to her own people, imagine how she will come to the aid of the residents of Asansol Lok Sabha constituency, who are no less than her family," Chakraborty said in an emotional appeal.
Chakraborty, who has acted in hundreds of films in his decades-long career, was recently cast in an important role in 'The Kashmir Files'.
Paul expressed her gratitude to Chakraborty, whom she called "literally my real brother".
"It was he who had suggested that I contest from Asansol. Our ties go back more than 15 years. He had earlier also described me and Smita Patil as his two sisters," she told PTI.
Paul said that Chakraborty was having eye problems and other health issues and could not physically campaign for her in Asansol, "although he would have loved to".
"I am grateful to Mithun da but he is like this only, honest and emotional. Our sibling relation is above professional terms, I am a part of his extended family," she said.
West Bengal BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said, "Mithun Da had braved heat and humidity to campaign for party candidates in last year's assembly polls and had toured the state extensively."
"Due to some health issues, he was not much active in the last few months. He also wants an end to the TMC misrule in the state. Besides, an elder brother urged people to vote for his sister. We are happy about his appeal," he said.
Trinamool Congress spokesperson Kunal Ghosh, however, said that the BJP would be defeated in both Asansol Lok Sabha seat and Ballygunge assembly constituency, where by-elections are scheduled on April 12, and Chakraborty's appeal "won't cut much ice".
Paul has been pitted against actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha of the TMC.