Days after actor Prakash Raj’s column in Udayavani newspaper was discontinued, he took to Twitter on Friday to announce that he will now be writing for its competitor, Prajavani.
The actor’s column in Udayavani, ‘Irudellavu Bittu’ (Besides all other things), was published every Saturday and was a platform for the actor to discuss politics and development, among other current issues.
He alleged in his tweet that ‘invisible hands’ had played a part in the decision to discontinue his column in the widely circulated newspaper. He added that he will now write a column, 'Avaravara Bhavakke' (To each their own).
However, Udayavani has denied that there was a political motive behind dropping Prakash Raj as a columnist. The editor, Shiva Subramanya, said that it was a routine decision. “He has written a lot for us, so we need to change the team. We have to give a chance to new writers. It is a routine exercise in every newspaper. What is special in it? There is no hidden agenda; you have to ask him what it is,” he said, speaking to TNM.
The decision to drop Prakash Raj came just days after Shiva took over as the editor of the newspaper on December 14.
When asked why the decision was taken suddenly, Shiva countered with another question: “Who told you it was a sudden decision?”
In his last column published on December 24, 2017, Prakash Raj had mused about friendship, love and the reason for existence. In previous columns, he has discussed religion, development and called for greater support to farmers. In a column published on November 26, Raj had urged people to let others decide their religious beliefs on their own.
On other platforms like Twitter, he has been outspoken in his criticism of Bharatiya Janata Party leaders. In October, he said that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was a better actor than him. More recently, he sent a legal notice to BJP MP Pratap Simha for making derogatory and personal remarks against him. He also criticised MP Anantkumar Hegde for linking nationalism and Hindutva in a recent speech.