Mumbai: Animal rights organisation PETA today lashed out at the Shiv Sena for holding and waving live chicken in the air as part of its celebrations to mark its victory in the Bandra (E) bypolls.
Following the bypolls results, some Shiv Sena workers were seen holding live chicken upside down, waving them and shouting party slogans in the constituency to celebrate the victory of its candidate Trupti Sawant over Congress heavyweight Narayan Rane.
Even as the party workers said the chicken were a gift for Rane, "who needed to be reminded of his defeat", the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) criticised the party on the issue.
"Animals claim no political sides and yet, even when humans celebrate a political win, they still make animals losers. Chickens pose no threat, they are the most gentle beings on the planet, and for them there are no voting rights, just our mercy," Poorva Joshipura, CEO of the animal rights organisation said in a statement here.
In 2012, following PETA's pressure, the Election Commission of India had asked all the political parties to refrain from using any animals during election campaigns. In an advisory, it also notified all Indian political parties that any violations of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, will not be tolerated, she added.
The Shiv Sena, however, shot back saying that the animal rights organisation should not blow the issue out of proportion.
"If somebody has chickens with them, it is not against the law. And anyway, this was not an official party function on the streets. This was just a spontaneous reaction from party workers. Though I have high respect for PETA, they should not blow this issue out of proportion," Sena MLC Neelam Gorhe said.
"I also request them to direct their attention on the menace of stray dogs in the city that keep biting people. The authorities need to be taught what should be done to these dogs," Gorhe added.