Facing immense criticism from the BJP for sharing a stage with Mohammed Nalapad Haris, son of Congress MLA NA Haris who is accused of beating a man to near-death in Bengaluru recently, actor Prakash Raj has said that the he has returned the funds donated by Nalapad for developmental work in villages he had adopted.
Raj was speaking at an interaction with journalists at the Mysore District Journalists’ Association on Monday. “I condemned the incident and returned the money,” the actor-turned-activist said speaking to The Hindu.
Prakash Raj faced criticism after an old video of him showering praise on Mohammed Nalapad, son of Congress MLA NA Haris, at an event in January 2017, surfaced recently.
In the video, Raj is seen on stage with Nalapad. He points to Nalapad and praises his upbringing. “This small boy called me here for this function and I said you are doing great work and I’ll surely come to the function. I said I have a Prakash Raj Foundation and that we adopt villages. I asked him for help and he stepped up to help me. Tomorrow, if we adopt a village in Chitradurga and build a house for a poor person, or help a farmer, it is because of this boy,” he is seen saying.
Raj admitted that the episode had taught him a lesson. ““Henceforth, I will not praise a person on a public platform without knowing their antecedents,” he said as per The Hindu.
Nalapad is in hot water this week after he was accused of brutally attacking a man in an uptown café in Bengaluru on February 19. While he could not be traced for one day, Nalapad surrendered himself to police on February 21 amidst high drama. His judicial custody was extended to March 7 at a hearing in the City Magistrate court later in the same week.
Following news of Nalapad’s arrest, Prakash Raj condemned the incident and demanded that the culprits should be punished ‘whoever he is’. However, he is facing a volley of tweets and Facebook posts asking him to publicly apologise and return the money he has taken from Nalapad.
His critics however gleefully shared the video in which he is praising Nalapad. It has also not gone down well with the BJP who used the video to discredit Raj. “Prakash Raj has praised the goonda son of MLA Haris to the skies just because he has given his NGO some money. It proves that he will praise anyone if someone pays him money. He is a hypocrite. He has no right to criticize PM Modi or BJP,” said BJP spokesperson S Prakash speaking to News18.