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Ban Bajrang Dal Promise Divides Congress, Leader Says Pledge May Hurt Prospects

Congress' poll promise to ban Bajrang Dal if it comes to power in Karnataka has triggered a wave of backlash. Now the party itself seems divided on the issue.

Karnataka Elections 2023
| Written By
Piyush Gupta

Image: ANI

The Congress party's manifesto promise to ban Bajrang Dal if it comes to power in Karnataka has triggered a tremendous backlash. While the Bajrang Dal has already taken to the streets in protest and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been stinging in its criticism of the Congress, now people from within the grand old party are coming out to express their disagreement with the poll pledge. Acharya Pramod Krishnan, a Congress leader, said in an exclusive conversation with Republic that the promise to ban the Bajrang Dal may hurt the party's prospects in the upcoming elections. 

"The first thing is that the Bajrang Dal is a subversive organisation but not a terrorist organisation. If Bajrang Dal was a terrorist organisation, we would have demanded to ban it first. But Bajrang Dal supports BJP, opposes the conversion of Christian Church Missions, opposes people who convert from Hinduism to Christianity, opposes Valentine's Day, so Bajrang Dal is an organisation that talks about Hindutva," Krishnan said. 

"But considering it a terrorist organisation and talking about banning it, I think is not fair. As far as Congress is concerned, I feel that by bringing (up) this topic in the manifesto, BJP has been given an opportunity to attack Congress and that should never have happened. The BJP wants Congress to be declared anti-Hindu. The BJP wants Congress to be declared anti-national. So whatever BJP wants, some Congress leaders are doing the same thing.”

Bajrang Dal and Bajrang Bali not the same: DK Shivakumar 

Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar, in an exclusive interview with Republic, was asked of his response to the controversy on Tuesday. He said Bajrang Dal and Bajrang bali are not the same. His comment came after PM Modi made a subtle jibe at the Congress for promising to outlaw Bajrang Dal if it wins the elections. 

The Karnataka Congress chief said,"Lord Hanuman symbolises service. Why is the PM comparing Lord Hanuman to any individual or organisation.  These individuals are trying to create a law and order situation in Karnataka. They are creating a disturbance in the state.  No investment is being received in the coastal belt because of these violent individuals,” 

When asked if the Congress party was equating both, PFI and Bajrang Dal, DK Shivakumar said,  "The Bajrang Dal was quoted as example. I won't discuss much on this issue,”

Bajrang Dal reacts to Congress poll promise 

Bajrang Dal national convener Neeraj Doneriya has reacted to the Congress poll promise. He said, "Congress issued the party manifesto for the Karnataka election and has connected Bajrang Dal with the PFI in it. This is very shameful that they are comparing a Dal that is working for the development and benefit of society with a group that has promoted several terrorist acts,"

"They are trying to get Muslim votes by banning us. They have always divided society in the name of religion. Bajrang Dal will protest against this shameful thing of Congress", he said.

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