‘Muslims, please leave my rally, for we don’t want your votes’: Meet this challenger to the BJP

09, Oct 2015

“It’s good that Modiji has come to this battlefield. The ground for this Mahabharata is ready. People will tell him about me,” he said.
Written by Muzamil Jaleel | Dehri-on-sone (rohtas) | Updated: Oct 9, 2015, 7:55
When Narendra Modi touches down at the Suara airstrip in Rohtas Friday, Pradeep Joshi will be listening carefully. “It’s good that Modiji has come to this battlefield. The ground for this Mahabharata is ready. People will tell him about me,” he said.
Joshi is not a BJP leader or from the grand alliance or even an NDA rebel. In Dehri, Joshi presents a unique political challenge. An independent candidate, he is more saffron than anybody around — even local BJP leaders accuse him of communal politics.
A cloth merchant, Joshi burst into the scene in October 2005 by stunning former RJD minister Iliyas Hussain by 43,000 votes. In 2010, after he was convicted in a case, he propped his wife Jyoti Rashmi, who won. “In the last 10 years, there hasn’t been a contest here. We will win again,” said Joshi.

 

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