“Uppi ge jai, Uppi ge jai”, these were the words shouted by Real Star Upendra’s followers as he announced his decision to quit the party he had founded with Mahesh Gowda, an independent politician - the Karnataka Pragnyavanta Janata Paksha.
After severe dissent among several top party members, Upendra, on Tuesday, held talks with his fans and party members at Ruppis Resort in Tavarakere before announcing his decision.
“Today (Tuesday), five leaders from KPJP and I have tendered our resignation. We will not be a part of KPJP any more. All those who had come together with me with the idea of prajaakiya (people’s rule) are walking out with me. Some people in the party wanted to steer from the very ideals the party was founded. We have decided not to be a part of such a party. Our ideals on education, health and transparency will not change,” Upendra said.
Upendra said that the senior leader, who he had trusted immensely had betrayed the party’s ideals and manifesto. The reason for the conflict according to Upendra was that he had promised tickets to capable candidates, while Mahesh Gowda wanted money bags.
The actor-turned politician said that he will float a new party along with those members who are willing to go along with him from KPJP.
“There are five leaders from KPJP and over 300 members from the party who are coming with me. There were people who had done leg work and worked so hard to show people what prajaakiya is. Then there were other senior leaders who did not want to follow the very ideals we believed in. I have seen videos where people are offering them Rs 50,000 and more to obtain a tickets. What about people who are actually working hard? They are the ones who have to be given tickets. This is an ideological difference. When the point of forming a party was to be transparent and not indulge in corruption, there was no other option but quit,” Upendra said.
“We had screened candidates based on how much work they have done and the potential of sticking to the idea of prajaakiya and transparency. When the tickets are suddenly snatched away from them, it is is like jumping from prajaakiya (people’s rule) to rajakiya (politics),” Upendra added.
Upendra said that within the next 45 days, all details regarding his new party would be chalked out. The actor said that he has held talks with his lawyers and will not give up his dream of an ideal government.
According to the KPJP General Secretary, Mahesh Gowda, Upendra was “behaving like a dictator” and was not willing to take into consideration the views of other people in the party.
“He behaves like a dictator and wants to be the only one to make decisions in the party. He is trying to usurp all the power. The views of others in the party is not considered. How can a party function without it being a democratic platform?” Mahesh Gowda questioned.
Dismissing Gowda’s allegations of Upendra being a dictator, the actor said that the reason for the misunderstanding was ideology.
“We are not trying to change the world in three months. I may be someone who is new to this but everything good starts with baby steps. We will contest the upcoming polls. It does not matter if we win or not. We will contest the BBMP corporator elections next and also the Zilla Panchayat elections. We are not going to give up on our dream. I was not being a dictator,” Upendra said.
Sources in KPJP also refuted Mahesh Gowda’s statement stating that Upendra had not taken it well when a video of certain people offering money to Gowda to obtain a party seat had surfaced.
“Upendra was not happy about this decision. Mahesh Gowda kept telling Upendra that without such arrangements, it would be difficult to win. He was alarmed because the party’s ideology was zero money. If he went along with Mahesh Gowda’s decision, then he would be turning his back on the people who have trusted him. The fight went on for two weeks and finally Upendra has decided to quit the party. A new party will be formed and called Prajaakiya,” KPJP sources said.
Meanwhile, speculation was rife that the BJP is holding talks with Upendra with the aim of wooing him to join the saffron party.
“If Upendra wants to join the party, I welcome him with open arms. I will talk to him this evening regarding this matter,” BJP MLA R Ashoka said.
Dismissing the rumours of him joining the BJP, Upendra said that he is only interested in forming his own party. “Oh, no. No, I am not joining the BJP,” Upendra said.