Karnataka Election 2023 Live Updates: The Congress party came under heavy criticism from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday after it’s Karnataka election manifesto said it would ban Bajrang Dal if it comes to power. This promise even led to the BJP calling Congress’s poll plank a PFI manifesto.
BJP also upped its ante against the grand old party by launching an online campaign over the same. BJP leaders took to twitter to change their display pictures, replacing it with an image of lord Hanuman with caption, ‘I am Bajarangi’.
This promise by the Congress received flak from several pro-Hindu outfit, which gave them a common agenda to join hands with the BJP. These outfits along with Bajrang dal are likely to stage a protest in front of the Congress office today.
Addressing an election rally in Vijayanagara district, Prime Minister Modi said he was fortunate that he got the opportunity to pay obeisance to the land of Hanuman.
“But see the misfortune that when I have come to pay my respect to Hanuman’s land, at the same time, 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’,” the prime minister said.
“It is the misfortune of the country that the Congress had a problem with Prabhu Shri Ram and now it has a problem with the people who say ‘Jai Bajrang Bali’,” he added.
The BJP alleged that Congress had insulted Lord Hanuman with its “audacious” statement and the people of Karnataka will give a befitting reply in the polls, but the Congress hit back claiming that it was Prime Minister Modi who had hurt religious sentiments and insulted the deity by “equating” him with the Bajrang Dal, and demanded an apology from him.
The Congress, in its election manifesto for the May 10 Karnataka Assembly polls, said it will take decisive action as per law including imposing a ban on organisations like Bajrang Dal and PFI and alleged that they were promoting enmity among communities.
The party also accused top BJP leaders Amit Shah, J P Nadda and Yogi Adityanath of giving hate speeches that were leading to a divide in society, and demanded that they be banned from further campaigning as they were vitiating the atmosphere.
On the other hand, the BJP sought an FIR and a ban on campaigning by Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge and his son Priyank Kharge.
Amid the verbal slugfest, the Election Commission issued an advisory to political parties and their star campaigners, asking them to exercise caution and restraint in their utterances and not to vitiate the election atmosphere.
Taking serious note of the “plummeting level of campaign discourse” during electioneering, the poll panel referred to the instances of “inappropriate vocabulary and language” used during the ongoing campaign by persons, “in particular, by those invested with the statutory status of star campaigner”.
“Such instances have occasioned various complaints, cross complaints and have also attracted negative media attention,” the EC said in a statement.
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