A worried Congress has asked its Karnataka leaders not to attend the Hindu "sammelans" that are being held across the state. The decision was technically taken by the state unit of the party last week but appears to have come about in view of the concern expressed by many senior AICC leaders that such congregations are threatening to polarise the Karnataka polity.
The Congress was taken aback when it found that some of its state leaders were either attending or interested in attending the "Hindu sammelans" organised in the state under the aegis of various temples and matt.
"Our state leaders want to be part of these functions because they are organised by temples and trusts. But the moving force behind many of these programmes are the RSS and the BJP," said a senior Congress leader from Karnataka on condition of anonymity.
Coming in the backdrop of the Sachar panel report and the UPA’s initiatives for uplifting the muslim community, the virat hindu sammelans taking place in the state have given the BJP a boost and added to the Congress’ concerns.
The fact that some of its senior leaders like Dharam Singh, CK Jaffer Sharief and M Kharge attended a rally to protest at Saddam Hussein’s execution have given a political twist to the politics of sammelans in the state.
The party has been hoping that the JD(S)-BJP alliance in the state would collapse under the weight of its contradictions and give it an opportunity to ride back to power in the mid-term polls. But the "sea of saffron flags" in coastal Karnataka is beginning to give the state party the jitters.