Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) general secretary Milind Parande seemed unbothered by the Congress’ emphatic 135 seats victory in the Karnataka Assembly election Saturday as he claimed that the organisation’s youth wing Bajrang Dal is not afraid of the ban threat as was proposed by the Congress party in its election manifesto.
“If they ban Bajrang Dal out of hatred for Hindus, necessary steps will be taken,” Parande was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. “…during the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, the Bajrang Dal was banned but the court quashed it saying it was wrong,” he added.
In its election manifesto, the party had stated that if voted to power, it would take strong action against those promoting caste or religion-based hatred and cited organisations such as the Bajrang Dal and the Popular Front of India (PFI) as examples.
Their poll promise had turned into a major controversy as Prime Minister Narendra Modi turned it into a big issue during his campaigns. PM Modi had urged the public to say ‘Jai Bajrangbali’ while voting, as a counter-response to the Congress for the alleged ‘cultural abuse’. “The Congress in its manifesto has decided to lock up Lord Hanuman. Initially, they locked up Prabhu Shri Ram (Lord Ram). And now they want to lock up people who say ‘Jai Bajrang Bali’,” he had said during a public meeting at Hospet in Vijayanagara district ahead of polls.
The Congress, in retaliation, had accused the BJP of equating Bajrang Bali with the Bajrang Dal. Following its big win in the southern state, the party further taunted the Bharatiya Janata Party over the ‘Bajrang Bali’ pitch Saturday and many senior Congress leaders rejoiced saying, “it seems Lord Hanuman is with the Congress”.
The election took place in Karnataka last week, and the result was declared Saturday, in which the Congress won the biggest vote share and seats by any party in over three decades in the state.