Ahead of the West Bengal assembly elections, actor Arun Govil, who played the iconic role of Lord Ram in Ramanand Sagar's Ramayan, joined the Bharataiya Janata Party (BJP) in New Delhi in the presence of party’s general secretary Arun Singh and Union Minister Debasree Chaudhuri on Thursday.

On being asked about his motivation to join mainstream politics, Govil said Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee's irritation with the chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ prompted him to join the BJP.

"West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's irritation to Jai Shri Ram was a trigger point for me to join the BJP. And there is nothing wrong in saying Jai Shri Ram. It is not a slogan, not even a political slogan. It is a way of life for us, it represents our culture and ethos," he told PTI.

While Govil's entry in the saffron camp will surely enhance BJP's already Hindutva oriented image, here is a look at Arun Govil's life and career.

Who is Arun Govil?

An actor and producer by profession, Arun Govil has acted in a number of Hindi, Bhojpuri, Braj Bhasha, Odia and Telugu films in his more than 40 years of acting career.

Govil made his bollywood debut with Prashant Nanda's Paheli, in which he played a role of a struggling farmer Balram. However, Govil's first big break in bollywood, as we call it is considered Kanak Mishra's 'Sawan Ko Aaane do'.

Govil's small screen debut was Ramanand Sagar's 'Vikram aur Betal' and then went on to bag one of the biggest role of his career as Lord Ram in Ramanand Sagar's, which brought him tremendous popularity and love fro the audience.

His powerful performance as Ram led him to projects like  Harishchandra in the TV series 'Vishwamitra' and  Buddha in the TV series 'Buddha.'  

Early life and education

Arun Govil hails from Uttar Pardesh's Meerut and graduated in engineering science from Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut.