Actor Mithun Chakraborty on Sunday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mega rally at the Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata.

Mithun Chakraborty arrived at the ground around 12 noon and was welcomed by the BJP’s National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargi and other state leaders.

BJP’s state in-charge Kailash Vijayavargiya had met up with Chakraborty at his residence on Saturday. He said, “I have spoken with him over the telephone, he’s going to come today. I will be able to make a comment only after a detailed discussion with him.”

The actor was handed the party’s flag by Vijayavargiya and state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh.

The actor was sent to the Rajya Sabha by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in 2014 after it stormed to power in the state in 2011. His political stint was, however, short-lived as Chakraborty resigned citing health reasons in 2016. He was also embroiled in the Sharda Chit Fund case as he was the brand ambassador of a TV news channel financed by the group.

In this rally, apart from Kailash Vijayavargiya, National Vice-President Mukul Roy, General Secretary Sanjay Singh, and Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta will also be present.

Former Trinamool Congress leader and former Union Minister Dinesh Trivedi, who had joined the saffron party recently, also arrived for the mega rally.

Ahead of the rally, Kolkata has been virtually covered with a tight security blanket by the city police and security agencies from the Centre. Security agencies have put up four-layered barricades in front of the podium from where PM Modi is slated to address the crowd. As many as 1,500 CCTV cameras were installed in and around the Brigade Parade ground area. A central monitoring control room was also set up behind the main stage.

This rally comes a day after BJP announced its first list of 57 candidates for the polls. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress has announced its 291 candidates while leaving three seats for its ally Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.

The saffron party won three seats in the 2016 Assembly election but in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP won 18 of the 42 seats while TMC won 22. Congress won two and the Left got none.

West Bengal, which has 294 Assembly seats, goes to polls in eight phases from March 27 to April 29. The results will be declared on May 2.