Cong s Bajrang Dal ban promise a windfall for BJP as it battles incumbency

By M.K. Ashoka Bengaluru, May 6 : The ruling BJP, hoping to retain power and beating the anti-incumbency factor in Karnataka, has got a shot in the arm with the Congress proposal to ban the Bajrang Dal. Congress insiders confide that the move by the party has given undue advantage to the BJP. Bharatiya Janata Party insiders say they are celebrating the self goal by the Congress and want to keep the issue alive till the Lok Sabha elections in 2024. The BJP, which was struggling to keep the Hindu vote bank intact, has heaved a sigh of relief. BJP leaders proclaimed that the Bajrang Dal is an extension of the RSS like the BJP. The Congress proposal also gave the BJP an opportunity to reach out to the masses and make more inroads for the Bajrang Dal. Barring the coastal regions, the presence of the Bajrang Dal is minimal in the state, but now the hue and cry surrounding the organisation will help it to grow, say sources. The momentum is like the hijab crisis, where a large section of young students volunteered to join the RSS and Hindu organisations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi now makes it a point to raise the slogan of 'Jai Bajrang Bali' in every public rally and is getting a tremendous response. Modi has also given a call to the voters of Karnataka to take the name of Bajrang Bali and cast their votes in the May 10 general elections. Political analyst B. Samiulla told IANS that the development has helped the BJP to keep its Hindutva vote bank intact. The Hindu vote bank was divided earlier. However, the BJP will not gain extra votes in significant numbers. The development has also helped the BJP to curb the resentment due to mismanagement among its traditional voters. The Bajrang Dal does not have roots in Karnataka. The people do not know about any Bajrang Dal leader after the demise of Mahendra Kumar. It does not have a presence in Mandya, Mysuru and other main regions of the state, Samiulla explained. V. Suresh, VHP district sampark pramukh of Bengaluru Rural district, told IANS that banning the RSS and the Bajrang Dal is impossible. "The proposal is like banging your head against a wall. We oppose the move and legally it is not possible for us to stage a protest in the present times. They (Congress) will face the consequences. The voters are educated and aware of what is happening around them. They will register their protest at the time of voting," Suresh claimed. According to Rajesh Pavithran, state president of the Akhila Bharatha Hindu Mahasabha, the BJP is using the proposal to ban the Bajrang Dal as an election gimmick. "Saying this I am clarifying that we are not with the Congress. Both the parties are waging a bitter fight for power. The hunger for power is more in the BJP," he said. "Hindu Mahasabha pursues Hindutva. But, the BJP has tried to break our leadership. We wanted to field 93 candidates and now only six are contesting. The BJP is creating a rift among ourselves. The BJP and the Congress are two sides of the same coin. The BJP is not for Hindutva," Pavithran stated. What is wrong in saying that if the Bajrang Dal or the PFI go against the Constitution, they will be banned? The social media infrastructure of the BJP is well ahead of all other political parties. They get 30,000 to 40,000 likes within minutes of uploading their posts. They are afraid of defeat and lying, Pavithran said. The BJP built a house for the family of Praveen Kumar Nettaru. They gave a job to his wife as well which is appreciable. But, what about scores of other Hindu activists who were hacked to death? Their parents are still selling flowers in the markets. "I am saying this being a follower of the Hindutva ideology. I was jailed because I questioned the razing of an ancient temple by a BJP MP. There is no right for me to raise my voice regarding the temple," he said. However, the BJP is celebrating the development as the cadres and party workers got a much needed boost before the elections. The BJP leaders claim that the development has neutralised the anti-incumbency factor. On the other hand the JD (S) also appears confident and its leader Kumaraswamy is appealing to the people to give his party a majority. /IANS


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