Bengaluru: Congress on Thursday lodged a complaint with the Chief Electoral Officer against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for invoking the name of Lord Hanuman in the election rallies in Karnataka.
Modi in his election rally since May 2 has been hitting out at the Congress for promising a ban on the right-wing outfit Bajrang Dal and equated the ban with “locking up” Bajrangbali, Lord Hanuman.
Modi also chanted Jai Bajrangbali’ in all the three speeches in Karnataka on Wednesday.
The Congress asked the Election Commission to restrain Modi from taking up the names of Hindu Gods, according to the advisory.
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It also wondered whether the ban on Sri Ram Sene some years ago by then BJP chief minister Late Manohar Parrikar amounted to an insult to Lord Rama or if the BJP’s betrayal of Shiv Sena is considered an insult to Lord Shiva.
“The Prime Minister in his address at public rallies spoke critically of the Congress party and in the melee attempted to portray the Congress party as anti-Hindu by taking the name of Lord Hanuman ie ‘Jai Bajrangbali’ only with the intention of soliciting votes for the BJP and urging people to not vote for Congress,” the party said in its complaint.
The Congress requested the Commission “to pass orders which the commission deems fit to direct the Hon’ble Prime Minister to refrain from using the names of Hindu Gods/Goddesses in election rally/speech only for the purpose of soliciting votes in the name of religion.”
Meanwhile, Congress’s chairman of the media and publicity department Pawan Khera hit out at the BJP for its hypocrisy and using the name of Hanuman only to garner votes.
Quoting the BJP-led Central government’s reply in Parliament on the birthplace of Hanuman and Sita in a press conference, Khera said, “BJP says the birthplace of any lord is a matter of faith. If that is the case then why do they use them to garner votes? Why are they disregarding the existence of Gods and Goddesses? Do they need the Gods and Goddesses (only) during elections?”
Khera also wondered whether when the BJP banned Sri Ram Sene in Goa, it was an insult of Lord Ram and when the BJP betrayed the Shiv Sena, it was an insult of Lord Shiva or Shivaji. He called the logic ridiculous and desperate.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, who shared excerpts of Khera’s press conference, tweeted, “The Prime Minister’s hypocrisy, especially when in despair and desperation, has no limits! On 20th August 2014, his BJP colleague and CM of Goa Manohar Parrikar banned the Sri Ram Sene in the entire state. In 2020, the BJP govt in Goa again banned Sri Ram Sene for 60 days. Did the Prime Minister consider this an insult to Lord Ram?”
As announced, many Bajrang Dal activists recited te Hanuman Chalisa’, a set of 40 couplets authored by 16th century saint-poet Tulsidas in the Awadhi dialect of Hindi, in various temples of the state to protest the promise of banning the Bajrang Dal.
In Bengaluru, the main event took place at Rama Mandir at Malleswaram, Ramanjaneya Temple at Ragi Gudda and Gali Anjaneya Swami Temple on Mysuru Road.
Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shobha Karandlaje too attended the Hanuman Chalisa recital at Malleswaram. She later addressed the gathering.
Similar protests took place in Mangaluru, Belagavi, Mandya, Srirangapatna, Mysuru, Hubballi-Dharwad, Kalaburagi, Chitradurga, Bidar, Vijayapura, Koppal, Ballari, Tumakuru, Chamarajanagara, Davangere, Kolar, Gadag, Bagalkote, Uttara Kannada and Udupi districts.