Reacting strongly to the Congress's promise of banning Bajrang Dal if voted to power in Karnataka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that the grand-old party wants to hold Lord Hanuman "captive".

While addressing a huge public rally in Vijayanagar, he said, "Congress had kept Lord Sri Ram in captivity (in Ayodhya). Now, they are preparing to keep Lord Hanuman captive too."

Prime Minister Modi further alleged that Congress does not like lord Hanuman. "I bow to the people of Vijayanagara kingdom. I am in the land of Lord Hanuman. At the same time, Congress is claiming in its manifesto that they will lock up Bajrang Bali and impose a ban on those who raise the slogans of Jai Bajrang Bali," he said.

Modi said Congress was sensing trouble if there are people who chant Jai Bajrang Bali. "Earlier, Congress kept lord Ram in captivity as it did not like him. Now, they are up to keeping Hanuman captive and the party is nursing deep hatred towards Hanuman, who is a devotee of Prabhu Shri Ram," he said.

"They (Congress) are announcing that they will ban Bajrang Dal. They have planned to tame Bajrang Bali (Lord Hanuman). We revere Sri Ram and Hanuman equally," he added.