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Congress Wins Karnataka: What Is Next On Cards For Bajrang Dal? | India News

A resurgent Congress has ousted BJP from the power corridor in Karnataka. The Congress not only secured an authoritative majority in the state with over 130 seats in its kitty, but it also pushed back BJP restricting it to just around 65 seats. While the election win is a much-needed booster shot for the Congress ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, this defeat will push the BJP back to the drawing board where it will not only introspect its losses but will look to redraw its strategy given the next assembly and parliamentary elections. 

Bajrang Dal Vs Bajrang Bali Row

The Karnataka election campaign took a strange turn when the Congress party promised to ban organisations like Popular Front of India and Bajrang Dal. Unexpectedly, the BJP gave a twist to the Congress promised and claimed that the grand old party will lock up Bajrang Bali in the state. Prime Minister Narendra Modi made it one of the key poll planks and Jai Bajrang Bali chants echoed his rallies. BJP leaders and Bajrang Dal workers even held a recital of Hanuman Chalisa in public spaces in protest against Congress. Bajrang Dal even burnt the Congress manifesto in protest against the party. BJP leaders termed the Bajrang Dal a nationalist organisation. To counter the BJP narrative, Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar promised that if the party is voted to power, it will develop Hanuman temples across the state.

What’s Is Future Of Bajrang Dal?

While the Bajrang Dal is known for its far-right activities, the organisation remains at the centre of controversies. Almost a three-decade-old organisation, Bajrang Dal works on small issues like against the increasing influence of Christians, renovation of religious places etc, cow protection and forceful conversions. According to experts, while many Bajrang Dal workers were booked in the past in different cases, with Congress in power, the organisation will have to take every step very carefully. Any complaint against Bajrang Dal may snowball into a larger issue allowing Congress to suppress the organisation, which has been compared with the PFI in the past. Since the ban was a part of the manifesto, Congress may bring legislation for the same as well. However, even if the Congress bans the Bajrang Dal, it will be only applicable in Karnataka until other states reciprocate the ban decision. 

An Issue For Lok Sabha Election?

Despite the BJP making a big issue out of the Bajrang Dal issue, the Congress has secured an almost landslide victory in Karnataka. This may force the grand old party to make this ban issue a national poll plank in the next year’s Lok Sabha polls. 

Since the Bajrang Dal is facing no threat to its existence, it will continue to work as earlier. However, it now faces increased scrutiny at the hands of Congress and other opposition-ruled states and will have to work within the ambit of the law.

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