Dharwad: former MLA Seema Masuti, who had distanced herself from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after being denied a party ticket to contest in the upcoming elections from the Dharwad Rural Constituency, has been convinced by Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Mines and Coal, Pralhad Joshi to support the BJP’s candidate, MLA Amrut Desai.
On Wednesday, Joshi visited Masuti’s home in Dharwad, along with Hubballi-Dharwad Mayor Iresh Anchatgeri and other BJP leaders, and had a detailed discussion with her. After the discussion, Masuti agreed to campaign for Desai and provide all possible support to ensure his victory.
Seema Masuti was one of the aspirants for the party ticket, which was ultimately given to Desai, who is currently representing the constituency. Following the announcement of the ticket, Masuti distanced herself from party activities and there were rumors that she might join the party’s former veteran Jagadish Shettar who joined the Congress after denial of BJP ticket to contest from Hubballi-Dharwad Central constituency, but she ultimately did not switch parties.
Desai is seeking a consecutive second term as an MLA, but Dharwad Rural constituency voters have not elected an MLA successively in the last few elections, making the outcome uncertain.
Former minister Vinay Kulkarni is contesting against Desai, but he has been barred from entering the Dharwad district by a court in connection with the murder case of Dharwad ZP member Yogish Gouda. In Kulkarni’s absence, his wife, Shivalila Vinay Kulkarni, is campaigning for him.
The visit of Union Minister Pralhad Joshi to Seema Masuti’s home and his successful persuasion of her to support the BJP’s candidate is seen as a significant benefit for the party.
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