Image: Twitter, PTI
Politics over the promise to ban Bajrang Dal ban has taken centre stage in Karnataka with Congress facing massive backlash from within and outside the party for giving the controversial guarantee to the voters. After Veerappa Moily, now Congress leader Jagadish Shettar, who recently dumped BJP over denial of a ticket, has rejected his own party's poll manifesto promise of banning outfits like Bajrang Dal in Karnataka.
While speaking exclusively to Republic, Former Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar affirmed that the state government doesn't have the power to ban Bajrang Dal. "Imposing a ban on any organisation is not a subject of the state government. This is a matter of the Centre. Veerappa Moily clarified everything yesterday regarding the Bajrang Dal controversy," said Shettar. Earlier, veteran Congress leader Veerappa Moily also cleared his stand by rejecting his party's poll promise to ban outfits like Bajrang Dal.
While rejecting his party's promise to ban Bajrang Dal in the Karnataka poll manifesto, Moily said, "The state government doesn't have the power to ban PFI or Bajrang Dal. DK Shivakumar will give clarity on the same. The proposal was never with us in the Centre or state. We have gone by the Supreme Court judgement to stop hate politics. A such promise may have been inserted because of the same. But I can tell as a leader that we have no proposal to ban Bajrang Dal."
Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday released the Karnataka assembly elections manifesto and promised the voters to ban outfits like Bajrang Dal and PFI for promoting 'hatred and enmity.' Mentioning that the party regards everyone equal before the law, the manifesto stated that the Congress Party is committed to taking firm and decisive action against individuals and organisations spreading hatred amongst communities on grounds of caste or religion.
Soon after the announcement, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and its youth wing Bajrang Dal workers staged massive protests all across the state. On Thursday, they conducted a statewide mass recital of 'Hanuman Chalisa' to mark their protest against Congress.