Kannada actor Upendra to enter politics, float party

Bengaluru, Aug 12 (IANS) Taking a break from reel life, Kannada film superstar Upendra on Saturday announced he was entering politics and would float a new party soon to serve the people without the burden of caste, religion and discrimination.

“I am entering the field of politics to bring about a change in the system of governance, serve the people and improve their quality of life,” Upendra told reporters here.

The 49-year-old Sandalwood hero has created three e-mail IDs to seek ideas and suggestions from the people and their willingness to join him in serving as a ‘worker’ of his would-be party.

“I am starting with an open mind and a clean state, as I want my party to be run by the people for the people to meet their needs and aspirations as an ordinary worker,” he said at the press conference at his resort ‘Ruppi’s on the city’s outskirts.

Noting politics was an art of serving the people, Upendra lamented that the present system of governance was not able to meet the needs or growing aspirations of the people.

“Politics is about the people, not politicians. For some reason, the system has been corrupted. In a real democracy, people are the kings and ministers are their servants who are paid salaries from the money collected from us as taxes,” said the actor-turned-director, who was wearing a khaki shirt.

Regretting that even after 70 years, political parties play vote bank politics to win elections and spend huge money for public rallies and meetings, he said: “Sadly, politics in our country relies on mass hysteria, caste, religion, money, fame and popularity to survive or thrive. This needs to be changed.

“Using technology, we can reach the people through television, internet, mobile and social media and connect with them for feedback on what they would like a party like ours to do for them.”

Upendra said he was attempting to create a new platform for as many people to join him in his fight against the present system of governance mired in corruption, delays and poor delivery.

“I will reveal the name of the party and its symbol after studying the responses from the public by e-mail or in person. We need a ‘Swachh government’ as much as ‘Swachh Bharat’ of Prime Minister Narendra Modi being implemented,” he said.

Appealing to people from different walks of life, including honest people and retired officials, to join him in providing an alternate system, he said he was committed to the cause, which was dear to his heart.

Ahead of the announcement, the actor on Friday night sent an audio clip on Whatsapp and through Facebook indicating his imminent plunge into politics.

“As a hero in films, I have fought a many a battle against money power and muscle power. Time has come to free the people from their influence in real life,” said Upendra.

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