Dog, owner detained for election campaigning in India

Agence France-Presse

Posted at May 01 2019 05:30 AM

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves towards his supporters during a roadshow in Varanasi, India on April 25, 2019. Adnan Abidi, Reuters

MUMBAI, India - A pet pooch was detained for flouting India's election rules after it was spotted parading slogans supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi outside polling stations -- but "let off with a warning," authorities said Tuesday.

Police seized the dog and its owner in the western state of Maharashtra on Monday just as voting was under way on the fourth voting day of India's mammoth election that runs to May 19. 

"We detained the dog and its owner as it was a polling day and they were walking around promoting Modi and violating election campaigning rules," police official Ganpat Phil told AFP.

Campaigning is banned on voting days in areas that are casting ballots.

A complaint was filed under India's penal code against owner Eknath Chaudhary for the sticker and placards stating "Modi Lao, Desh Bachchao" ("Bring Modi back, save the country"), Phil said.

The dog and the owner were released in the town of Nandurbar on Monday evening and "let off with a warning," the official added.

Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party are favorites to retain power following the election, results of which are due May 23.