Congress poster compares poll malpractices to Draupadi disrobing, draws flak

Updated on Jan 24, 2019 11:56 PM IST

The poster depicts “Democracy in Telangana” as Draupadi, wife of the Pandavas, being disrobed by Dushshasana, represented by election officers.

The poster depicts “Democracy in Telangana” as Draupadi, wife of the Pandavas, being disrobed by Dushshasana, represented by election officers.(Kunal Patil/HT Photo)
The poster depicts “Democracy in Telangana” as Draupadi, wife of the Pandavas, being disrobed by Dushshasana, represented by election officers.(Kunal Patil/HT Photo)

A poster put out by Telangana Congress having a caricature on “Draupadi Vastrapaharanam” (the Mahabharata episode where Draupadi is disrobed) to show the state of democracy in the state has drawn the ire of opponents.

The poster depicts “Democracy in Telangana” as Draupadi, wife of the Pandavas, being disrobed by Dushshasana, represented by chief electoral officer, district election officers and election returning officers of Telangana.

It also shows the chief minister and ruling TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao, along with his ally Asaduddin Owaisi, president of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) (apparently likened to Duryodhana and his associates in Mahabharata), enjoying the outrage of democracy, while Election Commission of India, like King Dhritarashtra, is blind to the entire episode.

The poster was released as part of the Maha Dharna conducted by the Congress at Dharna Chowk near Indira Park in Hyderabad in protest against alleged irregularities in the recently concluded assembly elections.

Raising strong objection to the theme of the poster, BJP spokesman Krishna Sagar Rao said it clearly hurt the sentiments of the Hindus.

“Did the Congress find no other comparison than this to attack the EC? Why did it chose Mahabharata episode hurting the feelings of crores of Hindus?” he asked and demanded an apology from Congress president Rahul Gandhi and the state unit president N Uttam Kumar Reddy.

While TRS spokespersons Palla Rajeshwar Reddy and Karne Prabhakar could not be reached for reactions despite repeated attempts, MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi wondered whether the Congress leaders would tolerate if someone made such derogatory references to Sonia Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi.

“Of course, I will not make such comparisons, but someone may do,” he said.

PCC election commission coordination committee chairman Marri Sasidhar Reddy, however, defended the poster.

“We only sought to highlight the fact that how the EC had allowed blatant outraging of democracy by the TRS with the help of local election authorities. There is no question of tendering any apology by any of us, let alone Rahul Gandhi. The BJP should not think it is the only custodian of Hindu dharma. We all respect and follow,” he said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Srinivasa Rao is Senior Assistant Editor based out of Hyderabad covering developments in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana . He has over three decades of reporting experience.

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