Actor Arun Govil, who played Lord Ram in the iconic television series of 1980s 'Ramayana' on Thursday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Govil will campaign for the party in West Bengal for the upcoming assembly elections, the party said.
Addressing the media after joining the saffron party in New Delhi, Arun Govil praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he has changed the definition of politics.
Targeting Mamata Banerjee who gets frustrated with Jai Shri Ram slogans, Arun Govil said there is nothing wrong in saying 'Jai Shri Ram'.
Arun Govil said, "Jai Shri Ram is not just a slogan... Mamata Banerjee is allergic to 'Jai Shri Ram' but it is not a political slogan...it is culture."
ALSO READ | TV serial Ramayan's 'Ram' Arun Govil joins BJP
Earlier in the day, BJP announced 148 candidates for the upcoming assembly polls in Bengal, including the party's vice-president Mukul Roy and its former state unit head Rahul Sinha.
The party continued with its strategy of fielding personalities from different walks of life and sitting MPs as it named folk artiste Ashim Sarkar from the Haringhata assembly seat and scientist Gobhardhan Das from the Purbasthali Uttar.
The party has fielded its former state unit chief Rahul Sinha from Habra and former Union minister and ex-TMC leader Mukul Roy from the Krishnanagar Uttar seat.
The BJP has so far announced five sitting MPs including an Union minister as its candidates for assembly polls in the state.
Elections for the West Bengal assembly will be held in eight phases, with first phase on March 27 and the last on April 29. The results will be announced on May 2.
Before announcing the candidates for assembly polls, actor Arun Govil, who played the role of Lord Ram in the popular Ramayana serial, joined the BJP in the presence of senior party leaders.
(With inputs from PTI)