Prakash Raj says parties after him to contest LS polls as he is Modi critic

'I don't want to get into the trap'

34-prakash-raj Prakash Raj | Bhanu Prakash Chandra

Actor Prakash Raj has claimed that "three political parties" are after him to be their candidate for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls not for his ideology but because he is a critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"I don't want to get into the trap," the 58-year-old said at the Kerala Literature Festival (KLF) here.

The award winning actor is known for his work in films such as "Kanchivaram", "Singham" and "Wanted". He had contested as an Independent candidate from Bengaluru Central in the 2019 general elections unsuccessfully.

"Now, elections are coming, three political parties are behind me. I have switched off the phone... because I don't want to get into the trap. They are not coming for the people, for my ideology, they say because 'I am a 'Modi basher', you are a good candidate'," Raj, a vocal critic of the BJP government at the Centre, said during a session on "Star Power and State-craft: Public Persona and Electoral Politics" on Saturday.

Political parties today have lost their voice and have no truth left in them, he alleged and added that this is the reason many of them (parties) are struggling to find candidates.

"There are no candidates in this country. Political parties are struggling to find a representative of a constituency. How poor are we?" the actor asked a packed house.

The actor's replies were to questions by session moderator Anjana Sankar. Raj was also asked whether he "hates" Prime Minister Modi.

"I don't hate him (Modi). Is he my father-in-law or do I have any property issues with him? I am just telling him I am a taxpayer... I paid your salary and you are treating me as your servant. Now, that doesn't work... I am asking him to do his job," Raj said.

While defending his posts on 'X' criticising the government, the actor said in his posts, "I speak what is there in everybody's heart, and it is not my voice, this is our (people's) voice".

"This not my 'mann ki baat' but our 'mann ki baat'," Raj said while talking about his social media posts. 

He further said the person in power needs to be asked questions.

  "Whether I have voted for him or not voted for him, he is still my PM. This is democracy, he cannot say you did not vote, you don't ask... The minute he comes down, whoever will come (next) I'll ask that person. You'll see my tweets change. After he (Modi) goes, if he goes, then why would I talk about him?" he said. 

"Do I tweet about Nehru, Hitler, they are not even relevant to me... People will call me fool if I talk about somebody else like Aurangzeb, Tip Sultan -- eight generations back, I was not even born then," Raj said.

Historian William Dalrymple, Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi, American physician-author Abraham Verghese, award-winning author Perumal Murugan and comedian Kanan Gill were among the 400 noted personalities attending the Kerala Literature Festival, which concludes on Sunday.

Join our WhatsApp Channel to get the latest news, exclusives and videos on WhatsApp