NEW DELHI — Yesteryear actor and TMC member Biswajit Chatterjee along with his party colleague Shanku Deb Panda joined the BJP on Monday in presence of its general secretary and Bengal unit in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya.
Chatterjee, who made his Bollywood debut with Hemant Kumar’s Bees Saal Baad in the early 1960s, is the second prominent film personality from Bengal to join the party after Moushumi Chatterjee, who joined BJP last month.
The veteran actor, father of Bengali superstar Prosenjit Chatterjee, fought the last Lok Sabha elections on a Trinamool Congress ticket from the South Delhi constituency.
On the other side, Panda was once the chief of Trinamool Congress’ students’ outfit, TMCP, and was considered close to party supremo Mamata Banerjee. He was even appointed the party’s state general secretary. However, he was removed from party posts in 2015 after his name surfaced in the Saradha chit fund scam and was questioned by the CBI.
Panda’s name also surfaced in the Narada sting case.
Later he changed tracks and went on to make a film on the Nandigram-Singur issue that rocked state politics a decade ago and helped the Trinamool Congress to oust the Left Front government.
Besides, Ranjan Bhattacharya, a politician from the state, also joined the BJP.
The BJP, which won only two seats from the state in the last Lok Sabha elections, has set a target of winning at least 22 seats this time. The party emerged as the main opposition to the ruling Trinamool Congress in the state over the last few years, making significant inroads in bypolls and last year’s panchayat elections.