Tuesday, April 23

Can Pralhad Joshi Win Fifth Consecutive Term From Dharwad

Edited by Akhil Thomas

The Bharatiya Janata Party has renominated Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi to contest from the Dharwad Lok Sabha constituency in the upcoming general elections. Notably, Pralhad Joshi is contesting from Karnataka’s Dharward for a fifth straight term.

Apart from parliamentary affairs, the senior BJP leader is also currently holding the portfolio of coal and mines. He was the ex-president of the saffron party’s Karnataka state unit and a popular leader from Dharwad constituency, which has been a BJP stronghold since 1996. According to an NDTV report, Pralhad Joshi was a businessman before joining politics.

The Dharwad Lok Sabha constituency was formed in 2008 after the delimitation. Prior to the delimitation process, the constituency was known as Dharwad North. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Pralhad Joshi defeated Congress candidate Vinay Kulkarni and won by a huge margin of 205,072 votes. The BJP leader received 684,837 votes in the previous polls. In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Pralhad Joshi’s winning majority was 113,657 votes. The veteran leader had also served as the president of the BJP’s Dharwad district unit.

The upcoming polls will not be easy for the Union Minister, as a candidate from the influential Lingayat community may contest from the Dharwad seat as an independent. According to The Indian Express, prominent Lingayat seer Fakir Dingaleshwara Mahaswami has held meetings with heads of other prominent mutts in the region to gather support against Pralhad Joshi.

The Lingayat seer had also given a deadline for the BJP leadership to change the Dharwad candidate. This is expected to be a challenge for Pralhad Joshi, as over 60 percent of the voters in Dharward parliamentary constituency are Lingayats.