Ahead of Madhya Pradesh polls, Digvijaya says Congress 'won't ban Bajrang Dal' if voted to power

In the past, the former MP CM has been highly critical of the Bajrang Dal, often raising the issues of the involvement of its men in cases of spying for Pakistan’s ISI.
FILE - Congress MP and formere Madhya Pradesh CM Digvijaya Singh. (Photo | PTI)
FILE - Congress MP and formere Madhya Pradesh CM Digvijaya Singh. (Photo | PTI)

BHOPAL: Known for making caustic statements about Vishwa Hindu Parishad's (VHP) youth-wing Bajrang Dal, Congress national general secretary Digvijaya Singh clearly said on Wednesday that Bajrang Dal will not be banned in Madhya Pradesh if the Congress is voted to power in the upcoming assembly elections this year.

“Bajrang Dal won’t be banned on Congress’ return to power in MP, as there may be some good men too in the Dal. But goons and such elements who are behind riots won’t be spared,” Singh said. Singh’s statements came three months after the Congress ousted the BJP from power in Karnataka with an impressive majority, despite controversy generated over Congress’ Karnataka poll manifesto reportedly talking about banning organisations like Bajrang Dal and PFI, if they disrupt peace.

In the past, the former MP CM has been highly critical of the Bajrang Dal, often raising the issues of the involvement of its men in cases of spying for Pakistan’s ISI. When questioned about the state Congress president Kamal Nath’s recent statements on Hindu Rashtra, Singh, while defending Nath’s statements, questioned, “What wrong has he (Nath) said? Does talking about the Hindu population in India, amount to a sin?”

Singh, however, added, “There is no mention of Hindutva/Hindu Rashtra in our country’s Constitution, this country will function only on the basis of the Constitution of India. Those holding important posts after taking an oath of the Constitution, including the PM and the CM, should resign from their posts before talking about Hindu Rashtra.”

Amid reports about him leading a delegation of the newly formed 'INDIA' alliance of the opposition parties to raise the issue over the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in elections, Singh said, “All opposition parties are united over the issue. We’ve raised some questions to the Election Commission about the use of EVMs, but the EC isn’t replying to those questions.”

Importantly, some days back, when queried about self-styled Hindu godman Dhirendra Shastri’s sustained demand for declaring India a Hindu Rashtra, Nath had said, “What’s the need for such a debate, when 82% of the country’s population is Hindu? But our country will run according to the Constitution, as per which India is a secular nation.”

Nath had come under attack from his own party’s leader and spiritual guru Acharya Pramod Krishnam and former RJD MP Shivanand Tiwari, over him and first-time MP son Nakul Nath welcoming the Hindu Rashtra backer Shastri with tilak and arti in Nath family’s pocket-borough Chhindwara at the beginning of this month.

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