Putting rumours of joining the BJP to rest, popular Kannada movie actor, Real Star Upendra, on Saturday said that he plans to float his own party.
Speculation was rife in the media that Upendra may join the BJP on Saturday.
Media reports on Friday suggested that actor Upendra is set to make an announcement in this regard after meeting with BJP National President Amit Shah on Saturday evening.
Upendra has been invited for a ‘meet of intellectuals’ with Amit Shah at the ITC Gardenia Hotel in Bengaluru on Saturday where Shah will interact with around 400 eminent people.
Upendra was also involved with the Akhila Bharata Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) when he was a student at APS College of Commerce in Basavanagudi.
In 2014 as well, speculation was rife in the media that the BJP had approached Upendra to contest polls from Mandya. However, the speculation remained just that and the actor did not take any step in that direction.
However, on Saturday morning, Upendra, in a press meet, said that he is floating his own political party for the upcoming Assembly elections.
Upendra, in a 13-minute audio clip released on Friday, made a statement in cinematic style about his “idea of people’s representatives”.
The actor appealed to retired bureaucrats, intellectuals, social workers and "anyone who is able to offer a solution to the people's problems", to join the "platform he plans to provide.
"Here is the problem with political parties. They rope in rich people to fund the party campaigns. They will be obligated to provide important positions to those who have given money. This is where corruption begins. We do not want funding. We want people to volunteer to join our cause. Anyone who has ideas about developing the areas they come from can give us their suggestions and join our cause. We are aiming for transparency. Imagine a system where the representatives are constantly keeping people updated about the work they are doing through social media, WhatsApp. They can take videos of the works and upload it. That's the way to achieve transparency," Upendra said.
In the audio clip, Upendra raises questions about caste politics and questions the attitude of elected representatives. Upendra, in the clip, talks about a competitive exam for selecting candidates who will be eligible to contest the election.
"The representatives must constantly upload photos of developmental works on their websites and social media. They are living on tax payer money and they want people to file RTI if they want information about governance? No, the elected representatives must give the information to the people," he says.
“We have exams for everything. From schools to colleges to those for bureaucrats. But there is no mechanism to test whether an MLA or MP or a corporator is qualified to represent the people’s interest. Why have the people not raised this issue?” he questioned.
“If a person has taken up on himself the great responsibility of being a people’s representative, then he or she must have knowledge about the problems of the people in the area he or she chooses to contest. How come there is not test for such individuals? There has to be one to determine how much they know about people’s problems,” he added.
Upendra refers to the elected representatives as “people’s servants” who are living on the tax-payer money.
“My party, if there is one, will not hold rallies or any campaigns. We will launch on the slogan satyameva jayate,” he said.
“There won’t be any publicity like other political parties. No banners, no posters, no rallies and no traffic jams, No caste. I will reach out to the people with the help of truth. This is just an attempt.” He added.
In 2010, Upendra had indicated his intentions to test political waters and had reiterated his aspiration once again in 2014.
Most of his films are political satires and in his film Super, he also becomes the chief minister. With the 2018 Assembly polls nearing, the actor has been more vociferous about politics saying that “the need of the hour is not Rajakiya (politics), but Prajakiya (democracy).”
He also blames himself and people for the current present political, economical and social situation in Karnataka.
“No one is bothered to address the real issues like the Cauvery, Kalasa Banduri and farmer suicides. Someone has to take the responsibility and I will, in order to bring about change,” he said.