Actor Prakash Raj, who had drawn flak after a video of him sharing the stage with Mohammed Haris Nalapad surfaced, has said that he has returned the funds donated by Nalapad for Prakash Raj Foundation. Prakash Raj Foundation, founded in 2015, adopts villages and carries out development work in there.
The actor faced criticism after an old video of him showering praise on Mohammed Nalapad, son of Congress MLA NA Haris, at an event in January 2017, surfaced recently. Nalapad has been accused of assaulting a youth, Vidwath, in Bengaluru. Mohammed Nalapad Haris, along with his accomplices, was on February 21 denied bail and sent to judicial custody till March 7.
"I condemned the incident and returned the money," Raj was quoted as saying by The Hindu on Monday.
In the video of an earlier event, Raj had praised Nalapad for donating to Prakash Raj Foundation.
"I said I have a Prakash Raj Foundation and that we adopt villages. I asked him for help and he stepped up to help me. Tomorrow, if we adopt a village in Chitradurga and build a house for a poor person, or help a farmer, it is because of this boy," reports quoted Raj as saying in the video.
The BJP has, however, slammed Raj and said that the actor praised a "goonda" (goon) just because he gave money. BJP spokesperson S Prakash reportedly said it proves that Prakash Raj will praise anyone who pays him money, adding, "He has no right to criticize PM Modi or BJP."
Prakash Raj is one of the sharpest and most vocal critics of the BJP and PM Modi. At the India Today South conclave in Hyderabad in January, Raj had said that he was not anti-Hindu as alleged by critics but only anti-Modi.