Bengali footballer Arindam Bhattacharya on Tuesday formally joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the fifth phase of the ongoing assembly West Bengal elections in the state.
Speaking to the media, BJP's IT Cell head Amit Malviya said: "Football is very important for the sporting culture of Bengal and has an iconic status. Arindam Bhattacharya is the goalkeeper and captain of Mohun Bagan team, and he has formally joined the BJP today."
BJP leader Mithun Chakraborty also expressed happiness over Bhattacharya's entry into the BJP.
The four phases of the eight-phased elections in West Bengal have been marred with violence, the recent example of which is the death of four people when security personnel opened fire in the Cooch Behar district.
There has been an intense battle between the Trinamool Congress (TMC), the BJP and the Sanjukta Morcha - a coalition of the Left, Congress and ISF.
The next phase of the elections will be held on April 17. Counting of votes will take place on May 2.
( With inputs from ANI )
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