Poll campaigns are hard on animals. Parties haul them around in the heat, often without food or water. The Election Commission has now put paid to parties choosing animal symbols (though the ones that picked such symbols before these elections can keep them). The cruelty goes on.
Some days ago, at a BSP rally, the mahout beat up an elephant — the party symbol — though the animal was clearly in pain. BJP’s Navjot Singh Sidhu filed his nomination on an elephant, with at least six people plus the mahout on the animal’s back. SP’s Abu Azmi has used an injured horse to campaign.
While activist Maneka Gandhi has termed such use of animal’s “unethical”, PETA has complained to the EC about the elephant beating. PETA India head Anuradha Sawhney says, “We’re writing to the EC about Sidhu, too.”