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Pralhad Joshi, RSS Loyalist And 5-Time MP, Returns As Union Minister In Modi 3.0

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A die-hard RSS loyalist and long-time BJP worker, Pralhad Joshi is a fifth time member of Parliament from the saffron party’s bastion of Dharwad in Karnataka.

Said to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP leader Amit Shah, he held portfolios of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs in the previous Cabinet.

As Parliamentary Affairs Minister, he played a key role in the functioning of both the Houses and in the passing of many crucial bills of national importance, during the 17th Lok Sabha.

He spearheaded a series of initiatives and policy interventions which led to “unlocking the true potential” of the Coal & Mining sector towards self-reliance, a senior BJP leader said.

Joshi, who had also served as BJP Karnataka president, came to the 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 97,324 votes, defeating Congress’s Vinod Assoti, in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha polls.

An astute political strategist, Joshi had also served as the party’s election observer or election in-charge of states like Uttarakhand, Telangana and Rajasthan.

Besides his social and political interests, he has an interest in Hindustani Classical music and playing Chess, Badminton and Carrom.

In his long political career spanning decades, this will be the second time that Joshi will be serving as a minister.

Born into a humble Brahmin family — his father was 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 graduated in Arts from Sri Kadasiddeshwar Arts College, Hubballi.

A member of the RSS from 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 a saffron party 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 five elections.

Joshi has also served as BJP Karnataka state unit general secretary, and went on to become its president in 2013.

Considered close to veteran BJP leader 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 was in power but had faced internal divisions and huge anti-incumbency.

Former party strong man B S Yeddiyurappa had at the time formed the Karnataka Janata Paksha after quitting BJP, dealing a big blow to the saffron party’s poll prospects. 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.

In the 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 Lok Sabha, Business Advisory Committee, and Committee on Ethics.

Joshi had also addressed the UN General Assembly, when he participated as a member of the Indian parliamentary delegation at the 63 Session of the General Assembly, in December 2008 and spoke on atrocities on women and children.

He 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 the professional front, he along with a few of his like-minded friends, established a small-scale industry, Vibhava Chemicals. Joshi had also been the Member, Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Hubballi.

Married to Jyoti Joshi, the couple has three daughters. 

 A die-hard RSS loyalist and long-time BJP worker, Pralhad Joshi is a fifth time member of Parliament from the saffron party’s bastion of Dharwad in Karnataka.    

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