Congress manifesto for Karnataka polls triggers war of words in MP

The promise to ban the Bajrang Dal by the Congress in its manifesto for the Karnataka Assembly polls has triggered a war of words in Madhya Pradesh. While Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and MP home minister questioned Congress state chief Kamal Nath’s devotion to Hanuman, Nath said those spreading hatred must face action. In a letter to Nath on Wednesday, Home Minister Narottam Mishra said, “The Congress may go to any extent for the politics of appeasement.” Chouhan called Bajrang Dal a “staunch nationalist organization”. The Congress, in its election manifesto for the May 10 Karnataka 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. “I have written a letter to Kamal Nath. I have seen his many tweets in which he posed himself as a Hanuman devotee. Congress equated Bajrang Dal with PFI. Nath should clarify his stance. This is the same Congress which kept questioning Ram Janmbhoomi,” he said. Mishra said that this politics of appeasement of Congress has hurt the sentiments of “Rashtra bhakts” and devotees of Ram and Hanuman. Bajrang Dal is a right-wing Hindu outfit and has often courted controversies over vigilante action. Bajrang is another name for Lord Hanuman and the outfit’s insignia carries the picture of the deity. Asked about banning Bajrang Dal in the Karnataka manifesto and if the same will be included in Madhya Pradesh, Nath told reporters, “That will be decided by the manifesto committee.