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Lingayat seer Dingaleshwar Swami withdraws nomination from Dharwad Lok Sabha seat

Dharwad: In a surprising turn of events, Lingayat seer Fakira Dingaleshwar Swami of Shirahatti Fakkireshwar Mutt withdrew his nomination from the Dharwad parliamentary constituency on Monday.
The lingayat leader submitted his nomination papers as an independent candidate on April 18. His political agent withdrew the seer's nomination on his behalf.

On Swami withdrawing the papers, his agent Sachin Patil said, "I withdrew his nomination today as per Swamiji's order. Only he knows the reason behind this. The followers of Swamiji will also do whatever he orders."

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 and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate, 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 Pralhad 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.

The four-time MP Joshi won the elections by over one lakh votes in both the 2009 and 2014 elections and managed to double his winning margin in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The voting in Dharwad will take place on May 7 in the third phase. Karnataka will go to the polls for its 28 seats on April 26 and May 7 in the second and third phases.
The results will be announced on June 4. 

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