VHP sends legal notice to Congress chief over 'Bajrang Dal ban' promise, demands Rs 100 crore compensation

Congress has promised action against organisations like PFI and Bajrang Dal

PTI05_02_2023_000033B Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge with Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar and senior party leader Siddaramaiah releases the party's manifesto for the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections, in Bengaluru | PTI

The Vishva Hindu Parishad has sent a legal notice to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge over the party's promise of banning the Bajrang Dal in its Karnataka elections manifesto. The notice, issued by the Chandigarh unit of the VHP on May 4, accused Kharge of making defamatory remarks against its yand demanded a compensation of Rs 100 crore.

"That in the manifesto at Page 10, you made defamatory statements against the Bajrang Dal, associate body of the Vishva Hindu Parishad by declaring to ban the organisation and comparing it to outlawed terrorist organisations like the Popular Front of India and similar terrorist organisations like Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) which are outlawed under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act by the Government of India," the notice said.

"The PFI and SIMI are terrorist organisations associated with Al Qaeda and ISIS and other global terrorist organisations proscribed by the United Nations General Assembly and by more than 100 nations as well as proscribed under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act," it said, adding that Bajrang Dal “believes in universalism, tolerance, dharmic unity, national integrity and service towards Bharat Mata and in doing so seeks inspiration from the reverential example of Lord Ram and Lord Hanuman who are the ideal embodiment of Dharma and Service".

The notice demanded Kharge to pay a total of Rs 100 crore to the VHP and Bajrang Dal within 14 days after the issuance of the legal notice.

The Congress in manifesto had said that the party was committed to take firm and decisive action against individuals and organisations such as Bajrang Dal and the Popular Front of India (PFI) "spreading hatred" amongst communities on grounds of caste and religion. The action would include a 'ban' against such organisations, it had said.

Hours after the manifesto came out, the Bajrang Dal workers staged protests across the state, and warned to spread their agitation to other states, too.

The issue resonated in the BJP campaigning with Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself leading the offensive on Congress' anti-Bajrang Dal stance.

"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'," Modi said.

📣 The Week is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@TheWeekmagazine) and stay updated with the latest headlines