CPI (M) likely to support Prakash Raj in 2019 Lok Sabha polls

The actor Prakash Raj is slated to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as an independent candidate from Bengaluru Central Constituency

Updated - March 06, 2019 12:20 pm IST

Published - March 06, 2019 12:16 pm IST - New Delhi

Prakash Raj. File

Prakash Raj. File

The CPI (M) is likely to support the candidature of actor Prakash Raj who is slated to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as an independent candidate from the Bengaluru Central Constituency.

The Karnataka Unit of the party had placed the proposal to the central committee. Top sources in the CPI(M) claim that the party is not "averse" to the proposal.

Bengaluru Central Constituency which was carved out in 2009 has been held by BJP in last two general elections. In 2009 BJP’s P.C. Mohan defeated Congress leader Rizwan Arshad by over one lakh votes and in 2014 he retained the seat winning it by a margin of over one lakh votes.

"We may not have a sizeable presence on the seat, but it is more of an ideological support and it is to reassert our commitment to strengthen the anti-Modi and anti-BJP/RSS regime," a senior CPI (M) leader said. The CPI (M) has small pockets of cadres among the various public sector unions and other labour organisations.

Sources said that Mr. Raj had approached the Congress to support him, but got a lukewarm response. Karnataka in-charge K.C. Venugopal told The Hindu that the party is yet to complete its deliberations with the leaders and cadres about all the Karnataka seats and can take a call on Mr. Raj only once this process is completed.

Sources also said that there are many leaders keen to contest on the seat including Mr. Arshad who has fought and lost last two times.

Mr. Raj, who has been critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP government, had announced in January this year his decision to contest elections. He had also stated that the murder of close friend and journalist Gauri Lankesh was one of the reasons for his foray into activism and eventually politics.

After Mr. Raj announced his decision to contest the elections, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which swept to power in Telangana recently, and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have both backed his candidature.

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