Hubli (Karnataka), March 23: Pramod Muthalik, chief of Hindu outfit Sri Ram Sene, Sunday joined the BJP here, saying he wants to strengthen the hands of its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
“I have joined BJP unconditionally to campaign for the party anywhere and ensure Modi becomes prime minister to provide a decisive leadership,” the 61-year-old Muthalik told reporters here.
Hubli is about 400 km from Bangalore.
The Hubli-Dharwad Lok Sabha constituency is represented by two-time Bharatiya Janata Party parliamentarian P. Prahlad Joshi, who is also the BJP state unit president.
Joshi, who is recontesting the polls, former chief minister Jagdish Shettar and former deputy chief minister K.S. Eswarappa were present on the occasion.
Muthalik, who heads the outfit named after Hindu god Rama and his army, was allegedly involved in violent incidents against women and attacks on churches in the state’s coastal districts.
In January 2009, Muthalik’s supporters indulged in “moral policing” by attacking young women going to pubs and bars in Mangalore, about 350 km from Bangalore.
Justifying the attacks, Muthalik told reporters at that time that the conduct and behaviour of young women going to pubs was against Hindu culture and tradition.
Born in a Marathi family at Hukkeri in Belgaum district bordering Maharashtra, Muthalik joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in 1975 and was also associated for some time with the Bajrang Dal.