Bengaluru: Actor-activist Prakash Raj, who has voiced his opposition to the politics of right-wing forces, said on Tuesday that he will contest this year’s Lok Sabha election as an independent candidate.

“A new beginning .. more responsibility.. with UR support I will be contesting in the coming parliament elections as an INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE," Raj tweeted.

Raj is likely to contest from his home state of Karnataka, though he is yet to declare this officially. He would later share details of the constituency from where he would contest, Raj said.

The actor, a vocal critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had campaigned for former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah in the assembly elections held in May.

Raj, popular in Bollywood as well as the Tamil, Kannada and Telugu film industry, travelled across Karnataka before the election to speak out against the growing right-wing fanaticism, which he believes is the reason his friend and journalist Gauri Lankesh was murdered. The actor attempted to generate a debate around the #justasking hashtag to highlight the rise of extreme right-wing forces after 2014.

“Ab ki baar Janatha ki SARKAR," he tweeted, mocking the Bharatiya Janata Party’s 2014 Lok Sabha election slogan.

Raj could not be reached for comment. He earlier claimed that Bollywood filmmakers stopped offering him roles as he has been critical of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government.

The actor is the latest celebrity to join politics from south after big-screen actors Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan. However, there hasn’t been any significant progress in the political careers of these actors. While Rajinikanth, who announced his entry into Tamil Nadu politics at the beginning of 2018, is yet to launch his party, Haasan recently confirmed that his Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) will contest the Lok Sabha polls by forging an alliance with “like-minded parties".

Dharani Thangavelu from Chennai contributed to this story.

Close