Among the crorepati candidates, a penniless ‘sadhu’ is also trying his luck from the Karnal Lok Sabha constituency.
Shiv Prashad, 61, had contested the general elections in 2009 also and was polled 1,659 votes. Among the 23 candidates who had contested last Lok Sabha elections, Prasad had secured 11th position.
“I contest elections to fight against corruption and eroding moral values. I have neither any lust for power nor intend to misuse the office of a public representative,” said Prashad, who is residing at a temple at Sanauli Kalan, a village bordering Uttar Pradesh in Panipat district.
Not interested in speaking about his personal life, this ‘sadhu’ says that maintaining high moral ground in the public life was everybody’s responsibility.
“It is unfortunate that those who get elected on the promises to serve the public actually snatch their rights. Indulgence in immoral acts by these leaders leads to corruption in society. Such people are a threat to our age-old culture,” says Prasad, who walks barefoot.
He leads an austere life and eats only potatoes.
When asked that he would have to face highly resourceful politicians, the smiling ‘sadhu’ says “it is more important to know their honesty”.
“I may have nothing with me and may even lose the elections, but I pray to the almighty to provide me a chance to spread a message of love and unity for a flourishing society. If division in the name of religion and castes is unfortunate then contesting elections on these lines is a grave sin,” he said.