Lalu’s 1,000 horse carts procession runs into PETA trouble

Patna, Aug 1 (IANS) RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s grand plan to take out a procession with 1,000 horse carts ahead of the assembly polls has been challenged by an animal rights group.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has sought the Election Commission’s intervention against the use of animals.

It has raised objections to the decision meant to counter Bharatiya Janata Party’s high-tech ‘raths’ (vehicles).

“We have approached the Election Commission and demanded it to stop the RJD plan,” PETA India chief executive officer Poorva Joshipura said.

PETA said the move is also against the 2012 advisory of the Election Commission that asks political parties to refrain from using animals for political campaigns.

Last month, the Rashtriya Janata Dal chief announced that he will flag off the horse carts, locally known as ‘Tum Tum”, for campaigning to reach out to the poorest of the poor.

He said the carts are ideal for the state’s dusty and rough roads and that they will help save money on petrol and diesel.

“We don’t have funding from the rich. So the RJD has decided to use horse power to defeat the BJP’s machine power,” he said, targeting the BJP.

“Dozens of Tum-Tums will be used by our party for campaigning in each constituency.”

Elections to the 243-seat Bihar assembly are likely to take place in October-November.

BJP president Amit Shah last month launched the party’s high-tech ‘Parivartan Rath’ campaign for the polls by flagging off 160 GPS-fitted ‘raths’ here.

The ‘raths’ would show a video film in Hindi depicting the 15 years of “misrule” of Bihar by Lalu Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi.

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