BENGALURU – Karnataka unit Congress president D.K. Shivakumar on Wednesday, reacting to the row over his party manifesto on banning Bajrang Dal, questioned the “connection between Bajrangbali and Bajrang Dal” while saying he is also a devotee of Lord Hanuman.
Speaking to reporters here at Congress headquarters, Shivakumar said: “I am a Hindu, and a devotee of Lord Hanuman and Lord Ram. Are they (BJP leaders) only devotees of Lord Hanuman? The paradise of peace, Karnataka, should not be disturbed. There should be harmony.
“They are panicking over our proposal to ban Bajrang Dal. There will be no changes in the manifesto. What is the connection between Bajrangbali and Bajrang Dal?” Shivakumar questioned.
On Wednesday, reacting to the Congress manifesto on banning Bajrang Dal, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that they cannot ban Bajrang Dal at any cost as that right is not with the state government.
Speaking to reporters, he said, the Bajrang Dal is an all-India organisation and how can the state government ban it? The Congress has spoken about banning the organisation only to create trouble in the society.
Meanwhile, Shivakumar said: “Anjaneya (Lord Hanuman) and Bajrang Dal are different. The BJP should do campaigning by taking the name of Bajrangbali. Let them tell you about what they have done to end hunger and unemployment?”
Reacting to the Hanuman Chalisa recital programme scheduled to be organised on Thursday (May 4), Shivakumar said: “Are they the only people who recite Hanuman Chalisa? We will do it every day.”
The Congress leader also said that the “RSS of the past, and the RSS of the present” are different.
“Why are you (referring to BJP) unnecessarily getting worked up? First, save the country. Why have you not given tickets to BJP leaders Ayanur Manjunath and K.S. Eshwarappa? We will ensure that our guarantees reach people. The BJP is provoking by raking up such issues. The people have understood this,” Shivakumar said.
Hindu outfits and the Bajrang Dal have given a call for reciting the Hanuman Chalisa in all temples of the state on Thursday (May 4).
“This is not going to work. Let the BJP party leaders do anything they want. We will get 141 seats for sure. The results will be announced on May 13 and everyone will know about it then,” Shivakumar said.
The Assembly election in Karnataka is scheduled to be held on May 10, and the votes will be counted on May 13. -IANS