There was a famous and filmy face among the sizeable Bengali contingent that arrived in Delhi to attend the swearing in of Pranab Mukherjee, India's 13th President.
Mithun Chakraborty, one of Bengal's most successful exports to Bollywood, took his place among Mr Mukherjee's entourage, which also included West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Mr Chakraborty and Ms Banerjee flew into New Delhi on the same flight from Kolkata yesterday (July 24, 2012).
"I am a great fan of Pranab da
though I have never been in politics. What more can you ask for than being the first citizen of India," the actor said about the President.
Mr Chakraborty, who last appeared in Housefull 2
, has never pursued a political career, unlike other stars like Shatrughan Sinha, Vinod Khanna and the late Rajesh Khanna. However, he famously used to have political convictions before he became an actor. He was a true blue Naxalite in the years before his movie debut in 1976 film Mrigaya
. Mr Chakraborty gave up his Naxal life after the death of his brother.
Mr Chakraborty was among the top actors in Bollywood in the 1980s, hitting big time with Disco Dancer in 1982 and appearing in other big movies like Ghar Ek Mandir
Pranab Mukherjee took his oath as President at 11.38 am today. The swearing in was also attended by Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Union Ministers, Governors, and Chief Ministers.