Prakash Raj to contest in 2019 Lok Sabha elections

Last Updated 01 January 2019, 08:56 IST

Actor turned activist Prakash Raj on New Year night declared his decision to contest in the upcoming Parliament elections in 2019 as an independent candidate. The constituency will be decided later, the Tweet said.

Raj, a renowned actor - famous for his anti-hero characters, became vocal about social issues after the murder of his friend and journalist Gauri Lankesh on September 05, 2017.

In December 2017, Raj had said that he will enter politics if there is a challenge. "I have no interest to enter politics, but if there is a challenge by a political force, I will take it up. If the challenge is posed to me further, I am ready to enter politics," he announced.

In 2018, Raj hit the headlines by attacking BJP and the Narendra Modi government several times. In January 2018, Raj said that he is anti-Modi, anti-Ananthkumar Hegde, anti-Amit Shah, and anti-Adityanath.

"I have not spoken about any political party or religion or caste. I oppose only a few people. I have the courage to name them. It is my right also. I have nothing to hide. Amit Shah has asked MP Pratap Simha, also BJP state Yuva Morcha president, 'How many protests have you held in which tear gas shells have been lobbed so far?'. Should I love the people, who create tension and violence in my state," the 53-year-old multilingual actor asked.

He had criticised Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's statement on Tipu Jayanti. Raj, who tweeted using #justasking hashtag, stated: "Dear Sir, what is your agenda again?" Dear Mr.Yogi, why are you sowing seeds of unrest in Karnataka?"

Raj had filed a defamation case against Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha for making 'derogatory statements' against him in February, in the same month which his first book was released.

"I have set off on a journey to discover and learn something which remains unknown. In a way, the journey is a process of getting naked. It's not the process of learning, but the process of forgetting whatever I've learned, that makes me happy," he said at the 'Iruvudellava Bittu' book launch.

Raj also asked ' to whomsoever it may concern' that if they would mind apologising for demonetisation.

BJP youth-wing Yuva Morcha had reportedly 'cleansed' the stage with cow urine after Raj's speech at Sirsi in Uttara Kannada district. Protests at his events are also common.

Beyond the controversies, Raj also involved in developmental activities. He visited Bandlarahatti village in Hiriyur taluk to learn about the fluoride problem in the village. His foundations - Prakash Raj Foundation and Just Asking Foundation - had adopted villages across various states and implementing developmental and welfare activities.

On Cauvery water sharing dispute, Raj said, it is not an issue without a solution. "When the Nile River can be shared among five countries, why can't we find a solution to share Cauvery water among two or three states ?" he asked while adding that political parties and their leaders were keeping the issue alive with vested interest.

(Published 01 January 2019, 04:47 IST)

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