Hubbali, May 4 : The Bharatiya Janata Party, bruised by the exit of tall leaders like Jagadish Shettar and Laxman Savadi, is banking on the Congress move to ban the Bajrang Dal as a major campaign issue in North Karnataka.
Sources in the Sangh Parivar told IANS that the Congress proposal to ban the Bajrang Dal was a clear sign of equating the organisation with the terror outfit Popular Front of India (PFI).
According to political observers, the Sangh Parivar is creating a narrative that the Congress is against the Hindus and that it would continue to be so if it wins in Karnataka and hence to stop the Congress, the Hindus must vote for the BJP.
The Congress is also on a sticky wicket with this announcement with senior leaders trying to downplay the issue by stating that the Bajrang Dal was not associated with Lord Hanuman. Congress leader and former Karnataka CM Veerappa Moily has said that there was no plan to ban any organisation and that the proposal could have been made in the backdrop of the Supreme Court directing all states and Union Territories to register cases against those making hate speeches.
A senior leader of the RSS based out of Hubbali told IANS that the “Bajrang Dal is a Sangh Parivar organisation. Don’t the Congress party and its leaders know that we are a nationalist organisation and can never equate us with an Islamist terror outfit like the Popular Front of India. The Congress is trying to win the elections at any cost but such moves would affect the communal fabric of the state.”
The BJP and the Sangh Parivar, according to sources, are conducting a vociferous campaign at the ground level on the Congress move to ban an organisation named after Lord Hanuman. The Sangh Parivar is trying to rake up communal issues in the run up to the elections.
The BJP is on the backfoot in many of its strongholds in North Karnataka. With the exit of senior leaders and the allegations of forty percent commission, the BJP leaders are not getting the expected public response even in strongholds in Dharwad district.
Senior leaders including Union Minister Pralhad Joshi are camping in Dharwad and coordinating the election in the district as Joshi knows that losing seats in this area would affect his future political prospects in a big way.