The mercurial chief minister of W. Bengal Mamata Banerjee (68) drove down to the Juhu bungalow ``Jalsa" of superstar Amitabh Bachhan and had ``chai pe charcha" with him and his actress-wife Jaya, who belongs to the Samajwadi Party. The CM also tied ``rakhi" on the hand of Mr Bachhan on the occassion of Raksha Bandhan declaring that he has been a brother for several years.
Ms Banerjee was received at the airport by Aaditya Thackeray of the Shiv Sena (UBT) after which her convoy headed straight for ``Jalsa." The entire Bachhan family, including Abhishek and his wife Aishwarya, were there to give her a warm welcome. The actor's family said the meeting was a purely social one organised on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.
The legendary actor and his wife Jaya Bachchan share a good rapport with the CM for the past several years. Last year, Mr Bachchan even attended the opening ceremony for the inaugural Kolkata International Film Festival (KIIF), where Mamata even advocated the actor's name for Bharat Ratna.
Ms Banerjee later told newspersons that said she spoke about old days with Amitabh Bachchan and how he began his career from Calcutta. She said the Bachchan family was the first family of India. She also reiterated that Bharat Ratna should be conferred on Big B.
Referring to the talk about the PM candidate of the opposition, Ms Banerjee said the first task was to save the nation. She accused the Modi government of first raising prices and then reducing them in the run up to the elections. She said even after the reduction of Rs 200 for cooking gas cylinders, the fuel was still far from the reach of the common man.
Back in 2022, Amitabh Bachchan also participated in the opening ceremony of the Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF). During the event, the Chief Minister requested that he be granted the nation's highest civilian accolade, the Bharat Ratna, recognizing his significant contributions to Indian cinema.
"Although not officially, but from Bengal, we will raise this demand to honour Amitabh Bachchan with the Bharat Ratna award for his contribution to Indian cinema for such a long time," she had said.
Amitabh Bachchan's wife, actress and Member of Parliament Jaya Bachchan, actively campaigned for Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress party leading up to the 2021 Assembly elections.
The third gathering of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) is slated to take place across two days, spanning from August 31 to September 1, in Mumbai. A total of 28 political parties are expected to join the proceedings of this third meeting within the Opposition alliance.