18 Mar 2021: Arun Govil joins BJP; party announces 148 Bengal poll candidates
Actor Arun Govil, who is best known for playing the role of Lord Rama in the 1987 television show Ramayana, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in New Delhi on Thursday.
The development comes mere days ahead of Assembly elections in four states—Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal—and the union territory of Puducherry.
Here are more details.
Details: Govil will not contest elections: BJP
Govil, 63, joined the saffron party in the presence of senior party leaders. Govil was later welcomed to the party by its National President JP Nadda.
The BJP said that the actor will not contest any elections, however, he will be campaigning for the party.
Interestingly, Govil had supported the rival Indian National Congress (INC) at the peak of his career in the 1980s.
Related news: BJP announces 148 more candidates in West Bengal
Govil's induction into the BJP comes on the day that the party announced its poll candidates for the West Bengal elections.
The Bengal elections are to be held in eight phases and the party had already announced its candidates for the first four phases earlier.
On Thursday, the BJP announced 148 candidates for phases five, six, seven, and eight.
Candidates: Who are the new poll candidates?
The BJP's latest poll candidates for the Bengal elections include National Vice-President Mukul Roy, senior leader Rahul Sinha, MP Jagannath Sarkar, former BJP MLA Samik Bhattacharya.
Several ex-TMC leaders who switched sides—Sabyasachi Dutta, Shilbhadra Dutta, Jitendra Tiwari, Sunil Singh, and Subhrangshu Roy (Mukul's son)—are also being fielded by the BJP.
Recently, Bengal BJP members had protested against the party's poll candidate picks.
Elections: When are the elections due?
The Bengal elections will be held in eight phases on March 27, April 1, April 6, April 10, April 17, April 22, April 26, and April 29.
Assam's three-phase elections will be held on March 27, April 1, and April 6.
The single-phase elections in Kerala, Puducherry, and Tamil Nadu will be held on April 6.
Votes will be counted on May 2.