PRAKASH RAJ TO CONTEST AS AN INDEPENDENT FROM BENGALURU-CENTRAL

Actor Prakash Raj, who recently stated his resolution to contest in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, said on January 18 that he would never enter any political party, claiming the parties were not honest.

Mr Raj said he had chosen to fight the election as an independent from the Bengaluru-Central constituency as he “cannot stay in any party for more than three months”.

“I want to be the voice of the people,” he told at a press conference in Bengaluru.

The critically-acclaimed actor, who has been busy politically ever since the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru on September 5, 2017, had declared his venture into politics more than a fortnight ago.

Asked whether the anger with which he has taken a leap into politics would support him, he said, “There should be anger against dishonest people.”

Known for his anti-BJP stand, Mr Raj distanced himself from the existing turbulence in the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka over alleged efforts to remove it by the saffron party. “At the time of (the May 2018 Assembly) elections I knew whom I am opposed to but I did not support anyone. I have no relationship with their squabbling,” Mr Raj said.

Coming down on the BJP with regard to its alleged effort to topple the alliance government, Mr Raj said, “The BJP is a bunch of shameless people.” 

“They call themselves gau bhakts (cow devotees) but on a major festival of worshipping cow (Makar Sankranti), they lodged in a resort in Delhi instead of being at home,” he said. The BJP MLAs from Karnataka were lodging at a luxury hotel in Gurugram, a move the party has resisted saying it was to defend their legislators from poaching attempts by the ruling alliance in the State, Mr Raj said.

Asked to comment on the Congress’ view that his contesting election from the Bengaluru-Central constituency would undermine the secular forces, the actor said, “I welcome secular parties supporting me but if the Congress says that my contesting election as independent will take away secular votes then let them support me.”

To a question, Mr Raj said he was not reluctant to joining the Mahagathbandhan, the grand alliance of anti-BJP parties. He said he chose to challenge the election from Bengaluru-Central because he grew up in the area where the voters were secular in nature. The Lok Sabha seat is currently held by the BJP’s P.C. Mohan.

Mr Raj previously claimed that Bollywood filmmakers prevented offering him roles as he has been demanding of the Narendra Modi government.

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