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Karnataka: Lingayat seer Dingaleshwar Swami withdraws from contest against Pralhad Joshi in Dharwad

Union Minister Pralhad Joshi, who has served three consecutive terms representing Dharwad, remains confident in the continued support of the Lingayat community, which has consistently backed him in past elections.

Reported By : T Raghavan Edited By : Anurag Roushan
Updated on: April 22, 2024 18:50 IST
Dingaleshwar Swami
Image Source : ANI Lingayat seer Dingaleshwar Swami.

Days ahead of the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections, Dingaleshwar Swami, the head of a Lingayat mutt in Shirahatti, withdrew his nomination on Monday. He had earlier filed his nomination as an independent candidate against Union Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Pralhad Joshi from Karnataka's Dharwad constituency. 

Swami's decision is reportedly influenced by the recent murder case of a Lingayat girl in Hubli. Earlier today, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had urged Swami to support the Congress by withdrawing his nomination papers. 

Dingaleshwar's decision to step back from the electoral fray comes at a critical juncture, as the race for the Dharwad parliamentary seat heats up with the formidable presence of Union Minister Pralhad Joshi. The Lingayat seer's initial entry into the contest had injected a new dynamic into the electoral dynamics of the region, with many anticipating a fierce battle.

Dingaleshwar Swami had come to the electoral fray after he and his followers accused Joshi of suppressing Lingayat and other leaders. However, with Dingaleshwar's sudden withdrawal, the political calculus in Dharwad undergoes a significant transformation, potentially reshaping the strategies and alliances among competing parties. Dharwad has been the BJP's stronghold since 2009 and the party has fielded incumbent MP Pralhad Joshi for the fifth time against Congress candidate and new face Vinod Asooti.

ALSO READ: Lok Sabha Elections 2024: BJP-JDS to secure 23 seats in Karnataka, Congress may win 5, says India TV poll



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