Bhopal, June 27: A candidate contesting the panchayat election in Madhya Pradesh for the sarpanch's post was booked under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act for using a dog during campaigning to defame the rival candidate, police said on Monday.

The candidate Mukesh Darbar, who is contesting the panchayat election at a village in Khandwa district, put up a banner with a photo of his opponent Divyaditya Shah on his pet dog and took the animal out on the streets in Khandwa district. Maharashtra Political Crisis Live Updates

A video surfaced on the social media showing the poster put on the dog walking on the streets.

The police took action after the candidate whose photo was put on the animal lodged a complaint alleging that the act was to defame him, a police official said.

It came four days before voting in the second phase of the three-tier panchayat election is scheduled to be held on July 1. Voting in the third and final phase of the election would be held on July 8.

"Sarpanch candidate Mukesh Darbar was charged under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act as per the complaint of election agent Santosh Soni on behalf of rival candidate Divyaditya Shah," Sub-Divisional Officer Ravindra Vaskale said.

Shah's father is a Cabinet Minister in the Madhya Pradesh government while his mother was a former Mayor of Khandwa.

Shah in his complaint said that Darbar's move was aimed at shaming him and his family members.

He said that Darbar also violated the model code of conduct.

The police said that a complaint has also been sent to the Animal Welfare Board and the Madhya Pradesh State Election Commission to take action against Darbar.

Three-tier panchayat (gram, Janpad and Zila) polls are underway in Madhya Pradesh.

The first phase of voting was held on June 25 and the counting of votes took place at each polling centre.

However, the results would be announced on July 14 and 15 after last phase of voting is completed.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 27, 2022 06:46 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website