‘Won’t Hesitate To Ban Them If…’: Karnataka Minister Priyank Kharge On Prohibiting PFI, Bajra

Karnataka Minister Priyank Kharge on Thursday said that the Siddaramaiah-led government will not hesitate to ban any organisation sowing “seeds of discontent and disharmony” in the state be it Popular Front of India (PFI), Bajrang Dal, or Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). He also spoke about the newly-elected Karnataka government’s stance on the hijab ban that led to controversy and communal tensions in the state last year.

When asked if the Congress will ban RSS in Karnataka after its manifesto committed to banning groups like PFI and Bajrang Dal, Karnataka Minister Priyank Kharge told news agency ANI, “Any organisation, either religious, political or social, who are going to sow seeds of discontent and disharmony in Karnataka will not be tolerated. We will tackle them legally and constitutionally – be it Bajrang Dal, PFI, or any other organisation. We will not hesitate to ban them if they are going to be a threat to law and order of Karnataka…”

On Amnesty India’s demand that the hijab ban in Karnataka’s educational institutes be rolled back, he said the Siddaramaiah-led government will review the decision. “We are very clear on our stand we will review any such executive order, we will review any Bill that is regressive to the economic policies of Karnataka, any Bill that brings a bad image to the state, any Bill that is not used for economic activities, any Bill that does not create employment, any Bill that violates the rights of an individual, any Bill that is unconstitutional will be reviewed and if necessary, rejected.”

Notably, Priyank Kharge’s father and Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge was recently summoned by a court in Punjab in a Rs 100 crores defamation case filed by Hitesh Bhardwaj, the founder of Hindu Suraksha Parishad, over Congress manifesto in Karnataka promising a ban on Bajrang Dal equating it to Popular Front of India (PFI) as being among organisations “spreading hatred amongst communities on grounds of caste or religion.” 

The complainant has demanded Rs 100 crore and 10 Lakhs as the defamation suit reads, “the plaintiff entitled to get loss of reputation of his organization which is spread at Sangrur Punjab India and abroad of Rs 1,00,00,00,000 and legal assistance charges of Rs 10,00,000.”

The defamation suit states that the party filed “false propaganda through his election manifesto”.

Regarding Bajrang Dal, the Congress manifesto, called ‘Sarva Janangada Shanthiya Thota’ (peaceful garden of all communities), had stated that “the Congress Party is committed to take firm and decisive action against individuals and organisations spreading hatred amongst communities on grounds of caste or religion. We believe that law and Constitution is sacrosanct and can not be violated by individuals and Organisations like Bajrang Dal, PFI or others promoting enmity or hatred, whether among majority or minority communities”.

More On It: Court Summons Kharge In Rs 100 Cr Defamation Case Over K’taka Congress Promise To Ban Bajrang Dal

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