Renonwed actor and activist Prakash Raj confirmed that he would be contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from the Bengaluru Central constituency.
In a tweet confirming the development, Prakash Raj said, "Thank you for the warm and (sic) encouraging response to my new journey.. I will be contesting from Bengaluru Central constituency in Karnataka as an Independent. I will (sic) share the details with the media in few days."
#2019 PARLIAMENT ELECTIONS.Thank you for the warm n encouraging response to my new journey.. I will be contesting from BENGALURU CENTRAL constituency #KARNATAKA as an INDEPENDENT..will share the Details with the media in few days..#citizensvoice #justasking in parliament too... pic.twitter.com/wJN4WaHlZPâ€” Prakash Raj (@prakashraaj) January 5, 2019
The actor could 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.
A report by Bangalore Mirror in 2014 stated that the Bengaluru Central constituency has a large number of Tamil-speaking voters. "While the Tamil-speaking voters number over 5.5 lakh, Muslim voters add up to over 4.5 lakh and the number of Christian voters is around 2 lakh," it states.
Prakash Raj, who has been critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government, had earlier announced on Tuesday that he would contest the Lok Sabha election as an independent candidate, without naming the constituency.
The actor is popular across the five southern Indian states of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. After he announced his decision to contest in the elections, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which swept to power in Telangana recently, and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have both backed his candidature.
He raised eyebrows in 2018 in the run-up to the State Assembly elections in Karnataka when he made critical statements about the BJP including against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah.
He has also stated that the murder of close friend and journalist Gauri Lankesh was one of the reasons for his foray into activism and eventually politics.