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Prahlad Joshi EXCLUSIVE: BJP leader refutes Congress' empty 'chombu' claims, demands justice for Neha Hiremath

Prahlad Joshi, a five-time MP and staunch advocate of Hindutva, discusses his ongoing campaign and achievements as a Union Minister in an interview with Kannadaprabha. He defends the Modi government’s record, criticizes the Congress for its handling of the Mahadai project and the Neha Hiremath case, and denies allegations of politicizing issues for electoral gain.

Prahlad Joshi EXCLUSIVE: BJP leader refutes Congress' empty 'chombu' claims, demands justice for Neha Hiremath vkp
First Published Apr 30, 2024, 12:44 PM IST

Prahlad Joshi, a prominent leader who emerged from the Idgah Maidan struggle in the nineties, has become a significant figure within the BJP and the central government as a minister. With a strong commitment to Hindutva and an eloquent speaking style, Joshi has garnered attention both as an orator and as a five-time MP for the Dharwad Lok Sabha constituency. In this special interview with Kannadaprabha, amidst his busy campaign schedule, Joshi discusses various topics, including the significance of Prime Minister Modi for the nation and the failures of the Congress party.

Q: Contesting for the fifth time, how are your preparations and promotions going?

Prahlad Joshi: There's no specific preparation for the election. I maintain continuous interaction with the people, and the campaign has been proceeding smoothly. The BJP-led central government has accomplished remarkable work over the past ten years, instilling satisfaction among the populace. This time, too, we are confident of receiving substantial support.

Q: What distinguishes the current election from previous ones?

Prahlad Joshi: Previously, elections were driven by the failures of the UPA government. However, this is my fifth election and third under Modi's leadership. The promising governance under Modi has instilled fresh confidence in the people, who anticipate positive change. Despite this, I have not neglected my constituency work, which resonates well with the electorate.

Q: You've undertaken substantial work as a Union Minister. However, there's skepticism regarding the implementation. Could you address this?

Prahlad Joshi: All projects directly commissioned by the central government have been executed effectively. Take, for instance, the Hubli-Gutti highway. Initially, I proposed extending it to Hubli-Gadag, but the UPA government cited insufficient traffic density. Minister Nitin Gadkari later amended the rule, resulting in a quality highway up to Gutti. While there are disagreements regarding some state government projects, they are being adequately addressed.

Q: Regarding the Mahadai project, although permission for DPR has been granted, work hasn't commenced. What's the status?

Prahlad Joshi: The BJP is fully committed to the Mahadai Yojana. However, there are complications, such as a lack of clearance from the forest department due to the Tiger Corridor. Despite delays, it's our responsibility to ensure project implementation, and we are dedicated to fulfilling that obligation.

Q: The Congress accuses you of neglecting efforts on the Mahadayi project. How do you respond?

Prahlad Joshi: The Congress lacks commitment to the Mahadai Yojana. Sonia Gandhi opposed providing even a drop of water to Goa. Despite our efforts, including expediting tribunal processes, Congress obstructed project implementation. People are aware of their motives, and only the BJP can effectively execute the scheme.

Q: The Congress accuses the BJP of politicizing the Neha Hiremath murder case. What is your stance?

Prahlad Joshi: We must be against injustice, particularly when it involves the murder of a Hindu woman. We haven't politicized the matter; rather, it's the Congress making baseless accusations. Our focus remains on seeking justice, not political gain.

Q: Has the BJP benefited from the Neha Hiremath murder case?

Prahlad Joshi: Our intent isn't to profit from such tragedies. However, Congress's statements favoring minorities demonstrate their anti-Hindu stance. We continue our struggle against injustice, regardless of electoral implications.

Q: The Congress accuses the central government of unfair treatment towards the state. How do you respond?

Prahlad Joshi: The state government's claims of injustice are unfounded. The Modi-led central government has allocated more grants and taxes than the previous administration. Any perceived disparities are natural processes, and the state government's financial woes stem from its mismanagement.

Q: Is the BJP merely seeking votes by invoking Prime Minister Modi's name?

Prahlad Joshi: We proudly seek votes in Modi's name because he's a capable leader guiding the nation to greatness. We also highlight our government's achievements. Just as Congress may invoke Rahul Gandhi's name, we mention Modi's. It's not our fault if they hesitate to do so.

Q: BJP leaders have suggested that the state government will collapse after the Lok Sabha elections. Could you clarify?

Prahlad Joshi: State and central elections are distinct, and we have no intention of destabilizing the state government. However, internal strife within the government may lead to unforeseen circumstances. We hope for stability, albeit without interference from our end.

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