He is ambitious and his political career is already on a high. However, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Pratap Simha puts family first.
On his official Twitter handle, he describes himself as “Journalist (Till 2014) | Appa (Father)| Husband | BJP worker | Member of Parliament”. He makes sure he is there for his daughter and wife Arpitha Simha whenever they need him.
Simha represents the Mysore-Kodagu constituency in the 16th Lok Sabha of India.
He is the President of Yuva Morcha Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Karnataka.
Born on June 21, 1976 at Sakleshpur in Karnataka’s Hassan district, he went on to choose journalism as a career.
In 1999, Simha joined the Kannada newspaper Vijaya Karnataka as a trainee and went on to become the editor in a few years’ time.
His column Bettale Jagattu (The Naked World) was fiercely in support of Hindutva and he rampantly criticized anybody who opposed it.
He wrote a book in 2008 titled “Narendra Modi: Yaaru Thuliyada Haadi” (Narendra Modi: The Untrodden Road) and later in 2014, in an article in Outlook magazine, he claimed it was he who introduced now Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Karnataka.
The same year, he expressed his desire to contest from the Udupi Chikmagalur constituency on a BJP ticket. Though the party accepted his candidature, Simha was asked to contest from Mysore.
He accepted, and resigned as a journalist to focus on her electoral campaign.
He won the Mysore Lok Sabha seat by defeating Congress MP Adagur H. Vishwanath by 32,000 votes, a huge achievement for a first-time politician, as he himself summed up: “In 33 days, I had gone from columnist to parliamentarian.”
Simha was appointed as a member of the Press Council of India in June 2015.
The 42-year-old MP is often caught in controversies because of his strong statements.
In 2015, he was caught in a controversy for being critical of the Karnataka government for celebrating Islamic ruler Tipu Sultan’s birthday.
He said Tipu Sultan is a “role model only for Islamists” and by celebrating his birthday, the then Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was “encouraging Jihadists” in the state.
In 2017, he was arrested for violating prohibitory orders and taking out a procession on Hindu festival Hanuman Jayanti in Hunsur town.
The same year, he came under scanner for reportedly comparing Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur to underworld don Dawood Ibrahim since she spoke against Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, a student body affiliated to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Last November, he lashed out at Prakash Raj since the veteran actor raised questions on Modi’s silence on “certain killings”, hinting at the murder of his anti-right-winger friend and journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh.
Image courtesy: Pratap Simha Facebook page
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.