Don’t use animals in campaigning, says Maharashtra poll panelDecember 23rd, 2011 - 10:15 pm ICT by IANS
Mumbai, Dec 23 (IANS) The Maharashtra State Election Commission (SEC) Friday frowned on the use of animals by candidates for canvassing during civic body elections and warned of action against cruelty to animals in future.
In an appeal, State Election Commissioner Neela Satyanarayan said that during elections, candidates either use animals for canvassing or running down rivals in the campaign.
These include animals like bulls, elephants, donkeys and other smaller creatures who are treated inhumanly during the elections, Satyanarayan said, adding that such instances been brought to the notice of the panel.
“The animals, especially donkeys are subjected to actions like blackening their heads, garlanding them with footwear and other such acts which amount to cruelty to animals under the laws,” Satyanarayan said.
She warned that henceforth, in all civic elections, all parties and candidates would be prohibited from using any animal for electioneering purposes, and failure to adhere to the rule would attract penal action.
Satyanarayan’s appeal will prove timely as elections to major civic bodies like Mumbai, Thane, Pune and others are scheduled in February 2012. Last fortnight, elections to nearly 190 civic bodies across the state were completed.
In the past, animals have been blatantly used for canvassing by various candidates in Mumbai.
Some candidates did not spare even local stray dogs and cattle - they would paint their names, phone numbers and party or individual symbols on the bodies of these animals, hoping it would attract attention of the voters in the vicinity.
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Tags: bulls, campaigning, cattle, civic bodies, civic body, creatures, cruelty to animals, donkeys, election commissioner, elephants, footwear, fortnight, instances, maharashtra state, neela, pune, rivals, state election commission, stray dogs, vicinity