‘Bajrang Dal ban’: Sangh Parivar up in arms against Congress poll promise

"I bow my head at the feet of Lord Hanuman. BJP will never let anyone damage the honour and culture of Karnataka," says Modi

bajrang dal
The BJP claims the Congress is promising to ban the Bajrang Dal as a gesture to appease Muslims. Representational image: Twitter

In their manifesto for the May 10 Karnataka Assembly elections released on Tuesday (May 2) in Bengaluru, the Congress has pledged to take resolute and definitive measures against entities like the Bajrang Dal and the Popular Front of India (PFI) for promoting hatred based on caste and religion, including the possibility of prohibiting them.

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“We believe that law and Constitution are sacrosanct and cannot be violated by individuals and organisations like Bajrang Dal, PFI or others promoting enmity or hatred, whether among majority or minority communities. We will take decisive action as per law including imposing a ban on any such organisations,” says Congress in its manifesto for the 2023 Karnataka Assembly polls.

The announcement was met with strong protests from the BJP, the VHP and other organs of the Sangh Parivar. However, if the Bajrang Dal does get banned, it won’t be the first time. In 1992, the PV Narasimha Rao government had banned it after the demolition of the Babri Masjid, but the ban was lifted a year later.

Modi rants against Cong

“Congress wants to ban Bajrang Dal. Earlier Congress had problem with Lord Ram & now it has problem with ‘Bajrang Bali’ devotees too. I bow my head at the feet of Lord Hanuman. BJP will never let anyone damage the honour & culture of Karnataka”, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Himanta Biswa Sarma retorts

The PFI has already been prohibited and cases against them have been withdrawn by the Siddaramaiah government. It is being claimed that the Congress is promising to ban the Bajrang Dal as a gesture to appease Muslims. While the Congress is stating that the PFI cannot seek retribution, its manifesto seems to resemble the manifestos of the PFI and fundamentalist Muslim groups, said Assam Chief Minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma.

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Cong is anti-hindu: Tejasvi Surya

By wanting to ban Bajrang Dal, Congress has proved yet again that it is anti-Hindu, said BJP leader Tejasvi Surya. In another tweet he claimed that the Congress in Karnataka was always working at the behest of the PFI and SDPI, and had even dropped cases against them. Now, with its manifesto announcement of banning the Bajrang Dal, Congress is openly siding with anti-India terrorist forces like PFI, said the MP. He also tweeted: “I am a Bajrangi! I am a Kannadiga and this is the land of Hanuman. I dare the Congress to ban me!”

VHP hits out

In a video message, Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) joint general secretary Surendra Jain said the Bajrang Dal will take the Congress poll promise to ban it as a challenge and give a reply to the party in “democratic ways”.

“While releasing its manifesto for the Karnataka polls, the way the Congress has compared the Bajrang Dal, a nationalist organisation, with the PFI, an infamous anti-national, terrorist and banned organisation, is unfortunate,” he said. The Bajrang Dal is the youth wing of the VHP.

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Every member of the Bajrang Dal is “dedicated” to serve the country and society while the entire world is aware of the activities of the PFI, Jain said.

“You cannot deceive the people of the country, (senior Congress leader) Sonia Gandhi. The way you have attempted to defame the Bajrang Dal, people of the country will not accept it. Every activist of the Bajrang Dal will take it as a challenge,” he said.

“We do not dabble in politics. But you want to drag us into politics. Then, we would like to respond to you in that arena also and we will not let your wrong intentions be fulfilled,” the VHP general secretary said.

VHP slams Sonia

Hitting out at former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, he also said that her party’s “hidden agenda” has come out in the open with its poll promise.

“You talk about banning the Bajrang Dal and you forgot that you had opposed the ban on SIMI. People like you had staged demonstrations on streets protesting the ban on SIMI. When you are talking about a ban on Bajrang Dal, your hidden agenda has come out in open,” Jain charged.

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The Bajrang Dal and people of the country accept this challenge and “a reply will be given in all democratic ways”, the VHP leader added.