EXCLUSIVE: Shinde says Sena will stand like Bajrang Bali to BJP’s Ram

Maharashtra CM says Bajrang Bali will punish Congress for his promise to ban Bajrang Dal if voted to power in Karnataka elections

| Updated: 07 May, 2023 10:26 pm IST

BENGALURU: Five days after the Congress manifesto created a furore over its promise to ban Bajrang Dal, Maharashtra Chief minister Eknath Shinde wades into the controversy and says Bajrang Bali will punish the Grand Old Party.

Speaking exclusively to The New Indian, the Shiv Sena chief said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi had already said ‘Jai Bajrang Bali’. Bajrang Bali will help the BJP beat Congress.”

CM Shinde was in Bengaluru to campaign for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Shiv Sena’s alliance partner in Maharashtra.

Talking about the Karnataka assembly election, CM Shinde, said, “BJP will win the election and will get the majority.” “PM Modi’s hands will be strengthened after this win,” he added.

The Congress proposed to ban Bajrang Dal in its manifesto for the Karnataka assembly election that is scheduled to be held on May 10.

“The Congress is committed to taking firm and decisive action against individuals and organisations spreading hatred amongst communities. We believe that the Constitution is sacrosanct and cannot be violated by individuals and organisations like the Bajrang Dal, PFI or others promoting enmity or hatred, whether among majority or minority communities,” the manifesto stated.

The document mentioned that the party, if voted to power, would take “decisive action as per law, including imposing a ban on them”.

The Congress’s decision drew sharp reactions from its main rival in the state, the BJP. PM Narendra Modi himself reacted to the comments, saying that Congress was attempting to “lock up Bajrangbali”.

Indomitable Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma, who was campaigning in Karnataka, said the Congress was trying to appease the Muslim voters.

Stung by the criticism, Congress did backtrack on its promise, declaring that it is not considering any ban on the Bajrang Dal.

In an effort to minimise the damage, Congress state chief DK Shivakumar said that the party is committed to developing Hanuman temples in the state.

Former CM and Union minister Veerappa Moily said that there is no proposal to ban the organisation. “Banning an outfit is not possible by a state government. The Bajrang Dal cannot be banned by the Karnataka government,” said the former Union law minister.

Many believe that Congress has scored its own goal with its Bajrang Dal comments, while the BJP is quick to turn it to its advantage.

Hanuman is considered to have been born in Karnataka’s Anjanadri Hills, which lie in Hanumanahalli, which in turn means Hanuman’s village.

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