The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed Rashtriya Hindu Sena chief Pramod Muthalik’s petition accusing the Congress of seeking votes on the basis of religion in Karnataka, PTI reported. Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said that courts cannot interfere with the election process once it begins.

Muthalik told the court that the Congress’ schemes for Muslims and other minority communities violated the Constitution, the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and the declaration made before the Election Commission. The court, however, observed that announcing schemes for the benefit of minority communities was not the same as seeking votes on the basis of religion.

The court told Muthalik that he could seek a statutory remedy after the elections are over.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi released the party’s manifesto for Karnataka at a rally in Mangaluru district on April 27. In it, the party promised to generously allocate funds for welfare programmes to improve the social and economic status of minorities. It also vowed to provide money for the education of children from minority communities.