Sandalwood star Upendra has announced his entry into politics and an end to his cinema career. What can be understood from what the actor-director has said so far is that he is launching a regional party for Karnataka which is opposed to politics based on “casteism, money and muscle power”. While appreciating the “good work” done by other politicians, he says there is need for an alternative.
Still in the making
With less than eight months to go for the next Assembly elections, Upendra’s move has caught everyone by surprise. He clarified that it does not matter if he loses or wins but he will be satisfied that he at least tried. Upendra’s political intentions were not a secret but he had always said that it will be sometime in the future. Speaking on the sidelines of Saturday’s press meet, the actor said: “The intention was always there inside me. In the last few years, I was feeling like I would end up without trying. So I took the plunge.”
The actor has called for his fans and public to give him ideas for the political move. He was not even certain of what his political ideology was. He changed his shirt to a khaki-coloured one just before the press meet started. His reason for wearing the khaki-colour shirt was that politicians need not be ‘rajas’ or ‘sevakas’ (PM Modi’s calls himself pradan sevak) but ‘workers’. So when asked if his party would then be Karnataka’s first ‘labour party’ he replied that he did not know about it.
No name yet
Upendra did not answer questions on whether his political leanings showed likeness for BJP. But he was more forthcoming about the issue of a flag for Karnataka in which he had shown an opposite stand recently. He had Tweeted that people were fighting over trivial things when Chinese soldiers were at the border. When asked repeatedly he said there was a need to protect the interests and heritage of Karnataka and the flag was a necessity. The latest politician in Karnataka has said that his party will contest all the Assembly seats in the state (in a slip of the tongue he mentioned 225 seats). However, the party, as of now, does not even have a name. The symbol will come later, he said. But he has coined a new word for politics, ‘prajakeya and prajakarana’ that are being used to refer to it now. Upendra’s party will not depend on money. He said that there was no way of knowing without trying, but he was…