Prakash Raj, who is contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as an independent candidate from Bengaluru Central, has conceded defeat but the actor has vowed to keep fighting for a "secular India". The National Award winning actor is pitted against Rizwan Arshad of the Congress and sitting BJP MP P C Mohan. The poll battle is currently led by Mohan with over 5.4 lakh votes as against Arshad's tally of 4.9 lakh votes. Raj is way behind at 25,881 votes, according to the Election Commission.Taking to Twitter, Raj wrote, "A SOLID SLAP on my face... As More ABUSE, TROLL and HUMILIATION come my way... I WILL STAND MY GROUND... My RESOLVE to FIGHT for SECULAR INDIA will continue."
a SOLID SLAP on my face ..as More ABUSE..TROLL..and HUMILIATION come my way..I WILL STAND MY GROUND ..My RESOLVE to FIGHT for SECULAR INDIA will continue..A TOUGH JOURNEY AHEAD HAS JUST BEGUN ..THANK YOU EVERYONE WHO WERE WITH ME IN THIS JOURNEY. .... JAI HIND— Prakash Raj (@prakashraaj) May 23, 2019
The actor said he will continue on the journey and thanked all the people who voted for him. "A TOUGH JOURNEY AHEAD HAS JUST BEGUN... THANK YOU EVERYONE WHO WERE WITH ME IN THIS JOURNEY... JAI HIND," he said. Earlier, the 54-year-old actor left a counting centre midway after learning that he was trailing at number three behind the BJP and the Congress. A video posted by a prominent Karnataka daily on Twitter showed Raj, sporting a slight smile, leaving the counting centre with his supporters in tow. Bengaluru Central is traditionally a BJP bastion, with Mohan winning the seat in both the 2009 and 2014 elections.
On May 19, the actor trashed the exit polls which showed a clean sweep for the ruling party in the polls."With the EXIT POLLS... Let some DAY DREAM that NIGHTMARE will come back. But ON 23rd... I BELIEVE CITIZENS will PROVE it WRONG... Till then let's sing and celebrate... What BAPU JI Taught us...," he had posted. Raj has been vocal about his views on the current BJP-led government at the Centre. He has also been one of those seeking justice for his friend and journalist Gauri Lankesh, who was shot outside her residence in September 2017.The actor earlier claimed that Bollywood filmmakers stopped offering him roles as he has been critical of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government. Raj is the latest celebrity to join politics from south after veterans Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan.