Special Correspondent

‘Such conventions seek to create Hindu votebank’

JD(S) objects to Home Minister attending religious rallies

BANGALORE: The Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) on Tuesday demanded that the Election Commission deny permission to organisers of the “Hindu Samajotsava” to hold similar conventions in other parts of the State, contending that the platform was being used to create a “Hindu vote-bank” during the Lok Sabha elections.

Speaking to reporters after an all-party meeting with State election authorities, Congress representative and former Bangalore Mayor Ramachandrappa and Janata Dal (Secular) spokesperson Y.S.V. Datta took objection to Home Minister V.S. Acharya attending such congregations.

At the convention organised by the Dharma Raksha Manch in Mangalore on Sunday, speakers referred to “discrimination against Hindus” and called for a united fight to safeguard the interests of the community.

Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer(CEO) M.N. Vidyashankar, who held a meeting with leaders of different political parties on Tuesday, said the Congress and the JD(S) had not sought a ban on such conventions. They only contended that permission given for such conventions should not be “misused” by the organisers.

Meanwhile, at an all-party meeting attended by senior police officers including Director-General and Inspector-General of Police Ajai Kumar Singh and ADGP (Law and Order) A.R. Infant, matters pertaining to enforcement of the model code of conduct were discussed.

The CEO said the parties had been instructed to take prior permission for hiring vehicles for the campaign and putting up banners on public and private buildings.