Actor-turned-politician Prakash Raj on Thursday was booked for allegedly violating the model code of conduct for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, media reports said. The popular actor is contesting from the Bengaluru Central seat as an independent candidate as previously declared. He is set to file nominations on Friday.
The complaint pertains to Prakash Raj using a mike to campaign at a public event on March 12 without permission after the model code of conduct was put in effect. The event was held in Mahatma Gandhi Circle near MG Road in Bengaluru. The Hindu reported that Prakash Raj in his reply to the police has said the event was not a political one and was held under the banner, 'Media and Freedom of Expression.'
Raj has been booked under various sections of the Representation of People's Act and also under the Karnataka Police Act along with event organisers Praveen and Abhilash by the Cubbon Park Police Station. The FIR was registered based on a complaint by the Flying Squad of the Election Commission.
Election Commission officials filed the complaint based on mobile phone videos circulated on Whatsapp of the actor's speech at the event. According to some, Prakash Raj had reportedly used the mike to canvas and seek votes in his speech.
At the start of the new year, Prakash Raj had taken to Twitter to announce his political plunge.
The actor will face BJP's PC Mohan, who had defeated Congress leader Rizwan Arshad by over one lakh votes in the 2014 Lok Sabha election to retain the seat he had earlier won in 2009. The constituency was carved from Bengaluru North and Bengaluru South constituencies after the delimitation process since 2009.
The actor who is popular across the five southern Indian states of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh has already got the endorsement of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which swept to power in Telangana recently, and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)