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2-min read

Fourth-time Dharwad MP Pralhad Joshi to Take Charge of Parliament Affairs, 2 Other Ministries

In the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, Joshi defeated Congress candidate Vinay Kulkarni by more than two lakh votes.

Revathi Rajeevan | CNN-News18

Updated:May 31, 2019, 3:19 PM IST
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Fourth-time Dharwad MP Pralhad Joshi to Take Charge of Parliament Affairs, 2 Other Ministries
In the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, Joshi defeated Congress candidate Vinay Kulkarni by more than two lakh votes.
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Bengaluru: Among the few new faces who have been offered a cabinet berth in the second Narendra Modi-led government, Pralhad Joshi from Karnataka is one. The 56-year old has been given the Ministry of Parliament Affairs, the Ministry of Coal and Ministry of Mines.

Earlier in the day, Joshi took to Twitter to thank PM Modi for giving him an “opportunity to work with as a central minister”.

Joshi, an RSS worker since his childhood, came to the limelight in 1994. BJP leader Uma Bharti had then led a group of people in hoisting a flag at Idgah Maidan in Hubli, against prohibitory orders. The ground belonged to a minority educational institution. The ensuing agitation resulted in the death of 10 people. In 2010, the ground went to the Hubli Dharwad Municipal Corporation after an order passed by the Supreme Court.

All the party leaders who were part of the agitation — BS Yeddyurappa, Anantkumar, Jagadish Shettar, Anant Kumar Hegde and Joshi — have now risen through its ranks.

Joshi has held positions of Dharwad district president and state president of the party in the past.

“We knew he would get it this time. He is a contemporary of late Ananth Kumar (who was a Union minister in the last cabinet). He is hardworking, never tired and always approachable," said Arvind Bellad, BJP MLA representing Hubli-Dharwad West constituency who has worked closely with Joshi.

Joshi, who will enter the Parliament as a fourth-time MP from Dharwad, could not even get a view of the state assembly when he wanted to in his school days, said Bellad.

“His father, a railway employee, then wanted to take the kids to show the assembly. He took them to a local MLA, who asked him ‘what will the kids do after seeing the assembly?',” said Bellad.

In the 14th Lok Sabha, Joshi was nominated to serve on the Standing Committees on Chemicals and Fertilizers, Transport and Culture and Consultative Committee, on Finance.

In the 15th Lok Sabha, he was a member of the Standing Committee on Railways, nominated to be the member of the Estimates Committee and a member of the Consultative Committee on Urban Development.

Joshi was also a member of the delegation on Empowerment of Women to UNO, in which he addressed the General Assembly.

His attendance in Parliament in the 16th Lok Sabha was 85%, above the national average of 80% and the state average of 79%.

Joshi's name has figured in a share of controversies as well. In 2013, along with former chief minister Jagadish Shettar, Joshi had tendered his resignation from the honorary position at the Karnataka Gymkhana Association after protests against efforts to convert a playground in Deshpande Nagar in Hubli to a sports and recreation club.

In the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, Joshi defeated Congress candidate Vinay Kulkarni by more than two lakh votes. The Congress hoped that the constituency with a significant Lingayat population – six lakh of an estimated 16 lakh - would vote for their Lingayat candidate. But 56% of the constituency's votes had gone to Joshi, a Brahmin.

Joshi is a native of Hubli, married to Jyothi Joshi, and the couple has three children. The minister also plays cricket.

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