BENGALURU: Actor Prakash Raj will be making his political entry in the coming parliamentary election, and has picked Bangalore Central constituency to test his fortunes. The award-winning actor, who has made his anti-BJP sentiments clear, tells TNIE that the city knows him well, and its people will ensure his victory. Excerpts:
Bangalore Central parliamentary constituency has eight assembly segments -- five have Congress MLAs and three have elected BJP. How will you defeat both Congress and BJP?
I don’t have to beat them. Citizens, who are the voters, will beat them. This is an issue-based election. Citizens know what they want and they will help me.
The constituency has about 19.3 lakh voters. How will you reach out to all of them?
It is not as if people don’t know me. They know me, they know how I have stood up for the issues I took up, even under pressure. I am born and brought up here. I’m a Bangalorean. Friends have seen me growing up in school and college, and people have been observing me. I know them. Remember, I’m not just an actor. I have taken up issues to empower students
How will you translate your social media support to votes?
I’m able to communicate directly with the people. It is a collective effort. Social media binds us together. I don’t think we need to pay money and collect people. Youngsters are with me… it’s most heartening.
In the past 20 years, no independent has won from Bengaluru. How will you break this trend?
I will not do it... people will.
Has anyone from the big three parties approached you? If they do, what will you do?
Yes, people from the big parties have approached me. But everyone knows who I’m fighting. Secular forces should not try to suck me into their party system but should, instead, support me in this fight. Why do we need parties? As per our Constitution, we need just elected representatives, not parties.
If you get elected, what will you do?
If elected, I need to work for the people. I need to ask people what they want and do it rather than being arrogant and think I know it all. I will be going across with my team and finding out what people need and address those issues.
Will you not end up dividing secular votes?
Secular voters have to rally around and fight unitedly. What will parties that have not been truly able to protect secularism do, really?