Lok Sabha member Prahlad Joshi on 21 March 2013 appointed state ruling BJP chief by national President Rajnath Singh to lead the 5 May 2013 Assembly polls.
The appointment of Joshi, representing Dharwad, was announced by Karnataka BJP just a day prior, after the Election Commission declared the poll schedule.
Prahlad Joshi defeated other contenders as he has a relatively wider appeal and hails from north Karnataka which the party considers as stronghold but where it is facing a threat to its prospects from former BJP strongman B S Yeddyurappa. Numerically powerful Lingayat community to which Yeddyurappa belongs has a strong presence in north Karnataka.
A second time Lok Sabha member from Dharwad, from where Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar also hails, 50-year-old Joshi, eclipsed former Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, Mangalore Lok Sabha member Nalin Kumar Kateel and Minister Govind M Karjol who were also in the race.
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