The Congress and other opposition parties on Saturday taunted the BJP saying Hindu God Hanuman or Bajrang Bali whom the BJP had involved in a major way in the election campaign had let it down in Karnataka.
As it became clear that the Congress was headed to a win in Karnataka, Congress leader Pawan Khera slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for doing politics over Bajrang Bali.
“Devotees of Lord Hanuman have given a befitting to Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi,” Khera told the media.
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The BJP had gone on the offensive during the Karnataka election campaign after the Congress in its election manifesto said it will take strict against extremist groups such as Bajrang Dal and PFI.
The Bajrang Dal, a part of the Hindu rightwing pantheon, is named after Bajrang Bali. Modi in his speeches accused the Congress of being anti-Hindu and raised slogans of “Bajrang Bali ki Jai”.
Advice to BJP
Khera said the BJP should stick to issue that matter to people and “don’t try to divide India”.
On Saturday, Rajasthan’s Congress Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot criticised the BJP for “attempting to polarise voters through religious statements”.
As celebrations broke out outside Congress offices in New Delhi and all across Karnataka, some party activists were dressed like Bajrang Bali and carried maces.
One of them told the media: “Lord Bajrang Bali is with the Congress. He has levied a fine on the BJP.”
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Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi also took a potshot at the BJP. “Even Bajrang Bali has given a thumbs down to Modi’s campaign in Karnataka. It is Modi’s loss since he made the entire campaign about himself.”
Her party colleague Sanjay Raut said the Karnataka verdict was a slap on the face of both Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the two main election campaigners for the BJP in the southern state.
“Karnataka shows what is bound to happen in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls,” he added.
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav said: “Bajrang Bali is very angry with the BJP.”