Prahlad Joshi’s image as BJP strongman in north Karnataka takes a beating
Hubbali: Union Coal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi who has been flaunting his close contacts with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, has taken a beating with the BJP’s drubbing in north Karnataka, considered a party stronghold.
With the BJP losing heavily in its turf, including Kittur Karnataka, and his close associates being defeated, the power of Joshi, as the authority on BJP affairs in the region, will take a beating.
At a press conference a couple of days before the May 10 elections, former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, who had left the BJP to join the Congress, had launched an attack on Joshi, saying he was the only Union Cabinet minister from Karnataka even after the party won 25 out of the state’s Lok Sabga28 seats.
He said that other Union Ministers from Karnataka – Shobha Karandlaje (Vokkaliga), A. Narayanaswamy (Dalit), Bhagwanth Khuba (Lingayat) and late Suresh Angadi (Lingayat), all from lower strata of society – were made Ministers of State while the single Cabinet minister’s post had gone to an upper caste.
There were several allegations that Joshi linked up with the party’s General Secretary, Organisation, BL Santhosh – again a Brahmin – to systematically cut to size popular leaders of Karnataka.
In the days to come daggers will be drawn against Joshi as Santosh, being from the RSS, will have the backing of the Sangh and hence Joshi will have to face the flak on his own.
Talking to IANS, R.J. Pujara, a social scientist in Dharwad, said: “Prahlad Joshi will have to face music. There have already been reports of his high-handedness and ambition to be the Chief Minister of Karnataka which has led to the BJP losing the polls. Antagonising and forcing out leaders like Jagadish Shettar and Laxman Suvadi from the party has not gone down well with the powerful Lingayat community in Karnataka leading to the drubbing of the BJP.”
The likelihood of Shettar, who lost the Assembly polls, taking on Joshi in the Dharwad Lok Sabha seat is very high if Shettar continues in Congress.