BJP faces a new challenger from within: The Hindutva fringe

Karnataka is witnessing a new development — Hindutva activists and organisations posing an open challenge to the ruling BJP.

The trend which has gathered steam after the murders of Bajrang Dal activist Harsha in Shivamogga and BJP Yuva Morcha member Praveen Kumar Nettare in Dakshina Kannada.

The state’s ruling BJP is facing a hate campaign and social media trials after videos and screenshots surfaced of the accused in Harsha’s murder case found chatting with their family and friends from prison.

The matter worsened with state Home Minister Araga Jnanendra allegedly turning a blind eye to Harsha’s sister, who had approached him with a complaint against luxury treatment being given to her brother’s alleged killers.

The saffron party which rejoiced the developments following the hijab crisis and boycott calls on Muslim traders leading to the young generation being lured towards Hindutva ideology, is now on a damage control mode after the young cadres started a movement to quit across the state.

Amrith Shenoy, a former AICC Member from Udupi, told IANS: “BJP leaders have politicised every murder that took place during the tenure of the Siddaramaiah government. If the accused were Hindus they did not bother and if they were Muslims they made it a big issue. The same trend has continued in the Harsha murder case as well.”

“The BJP cadres and young party workers are thinking why Hindu leaders were being killed during the rule of the BJP? The violent mob had almost attacked BJP State President Nalin Kumar Kateel who had gone to Nettare’s funeral. Ministers V. Sunil Kumar and Araga Jnanendra had to take protection from people.”

Gradually, BJP supporters are realising that the the party’s Hindutva is bogus, Shenoy said and claimed that the party does not even worship Lord Ram.

“Karnataka, especially the coastal region, was a Congress bastion till 2000. In the beginning, Hindu leaders such as Praveen Togadia and Pramod Muthalik started organising Hindu samajotsava and invited everyone. They claimed that the programmes were apolitical,” he stated.

The claims however, turned out to be fake, as they spoke against the Congress and Hindus being threatened and projected the BJP as the champion of Hindus, Shenoy says.

Gradually, the young generation from oppressed classes were drawn to their fold. and were encouraged to carry out moral policing, wield swords and pelt stones, he added.

Pramod Muthalik, founder of the Sri Rama Sena, explained that his organisation won’t support the BJP in next year’s Assembly elections.

“We have asked the BJP to change. The dissatisfaction towards BJP is very much there. The party is corrupt and it is not sensitive towards the needs of Hindu community. It has digressed from its objectives,” he said/

Dharmendra, state General Secretary of the Akhila Bharata Hindu Mahasabha, said that his organisation is much more powerful now than earlier.

He maintained that Mahasabha will change the political scenario in the state following the 2023 polls and claimed that the “BJP’s prospectus would be harmed to a great extent across Karnataka”.

Dharmendra further says that the people have seen how the ruling BJP leaders have amassed wealth and also caused tremendous pain and suffering to Hindu activists.

BJP insiders explain that the party leaders are hoping to recover from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the coastal town of Mangaluru in Dakshina Kannada district on September 2, where he will address a public rally.

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