Actor Prakash Raj has announced that he will contest in the upcoming Parliament elections as an independent candidate. Taking to Twitter on New Year's Eve at midnight, the actor tweeted, "HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE..a new beginning .. more responsibility.. with UR support I will be contesting in the coming parliament elections as an INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE. Details of the constituency soon. Ab ki baar Janatha ki SARKAR #citizensvoice #justasking in parliament too (sic)."
Prakash Raj has been vocal about his politics and has been a severe critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government ever since his close friend Gauri Lankesh, a journalist, was shot dead in Bengaluru in January last year. In May 2018, he launched 'just asking', a series of questions that he regularly poses to Narendra Modi and his government.
The Special Investigation Team probing the death of Gauri Lankesh had revealed that her killers had Prakash Raj too, on their hit list.
Prakash Raj has been in the eye of a storm many times in 2018 with his remarks making headlines. Recently, he was quoted as saying that PM Modi is an NRI when elections are not taking place. "He turns resident Indian during elections. When elections are over, he [Mr. Modi] goes back to foreign locations,â€ť Prakash Raj had said.
The actor has also extended his support to several politicians including Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and his plans for a 'Federal Front', which would include a consortium of regional parties. In April this year, Prakash Raj was part of a meeting that included KCR and former PM Deve Gowda at the latter's home.
â€śFor the last few months I have been having discussions with KCR. Why I am here is because he is not talking about party politics. It is for us to come together and understand why the issues which have been going on for years have not been solved and to find another way to come to a consensus and create a mass movement so that all like-minded people can come together and ensure that the issues are solved and we deliver to the people,â€ť he told reporters.
With Prakash Raj taking the political plunge and announcing that he would stand as an independent candidate, it remains to be seen if parties like the Congress and JDS would tacitly support him.