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Pralhad Joshi: RSS loyalist makes entry into Modi cabinet


Press Trust of India New Delhi
A die-hard RSS loyalist, long-time BJP worker Pralhad Joshi is a fourth time member of Parliament from the saffron party's bastion of Dharwad.
Joshi, who was also BJP Karnataka president, came to limelight as Rastradwaja Horata Samiti Sanchalak, when the party organised a movement to hoist the tricolour at Idgah Maidan in Hubballi that had created a huge law and order situation, and also "Save Kashmir Movement" in early 1990s.
Joshi won the Dharwad Lok Sabha seat by a margin of 2,05,072 votes, defeating Congress's Vinay Kulkarni, a former minister, in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha polls.
In his long political career spanning over decades, this will be the first time that Joshi will be serving as a minister.
Born into a humble Brahmin family of a Railway employee in 1962 at Vijapura, Joshi was the third child of late Venkatesh Joshi and Malatibai.
He had his primary education in Railway School, high school education in New English School, Hubballi, and graduation from Sri Kadasiddeshwar Arts College, Hubballi.
A member of the RSS since a young age, Joshi was groomed at its training camps. He then got himself associated with the BJP and became a party activist.
Considered among those who are instrumental in making Hubballi-Dharwad and surrounding areas as the saffron party's bastion, Joshi became general secretary of party's Dharwad unit in 1998 and its president in 1995.
He first became the Member of Parliament in 2004, which he has been holding till date by winning consecutive four elections (2009, 2014 and again in 2019.)

Joshi has also served as BJP Karnataka state unit general secretary, and went on to become its president in 2013.
Considered close to former chief minister Jagadish Shettar and late Union minister Ananth Kumar, he took over as state BJP chief just ahead of the 2013 assembly polls.
It was a time when BJP despite being in government was divided internally and faced huge anti-incumbency. Former party strong man B S Yeddyurappa, who had then formed the Karnataka Janatha Paksha after quitting BJP, was hell-bent on

spoiling the show.
Though Joshi made all efforts to unite the party during the polls, the BJP could not regain power, and the Congress formed the government under Siddaramaiah's leadership, with absolute majority.
In the recently-dissolved 16th Lok Sabha, Joshi served as the chairperson of the Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Gas and also as a member of various committees including- panel of chairpersons, Lok Sabha, Business Advisory

Committee, and Committee on Ethics among others.
Joshi had also addressed the UN General Assembly, when he participated as a member of the Indian parliamentary delegation at the 63 Session of General Assembly, in December 2008 and spoke on atrocities on women and children.
He has also participated as a member of the Indian parliamentary delegation in April 2012 and spoke on the need for a "genuine political settlement" to the Tamil issue in Sri Lanka.
On professional front, he along with a few of his like-minded friends, has established a small scale industry- Vibhava Chemicals.
Joshi has also been the Member, Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Hubballi.

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First Published: May 30 2019 | 9:25 PM IST

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