Chandigarh, Jan 5 He may be the brand icon of the Election Commission (EC) for the Jan 30 assembly elections in Punjab but that has not deterred satirist-comedian Jaspal Bhatti from urging the commission, in a lighter vein, to allow leaders and candidates to indulge in “mudslinging and even character assassination to some extent”.
Bhatti and his Nonsense Club members submitted a communication to the Punjab chief electoral officer Thursday that mud-slinging and character assassination be allowed in the run-up to the Punjab assembly elections.
Justifying his demand, Bhatti said that allowing these things “will help the voter to make up their mind in choosing the candidate who is less corrupt than others”.
“Sometimes choice becomes difficult when two rival candidates are looters of the same level. When candidates dig each other’s scandals, it provides entertainment to the public and they get involved in the democratic process with greater interest,” Bhatti said.
He pointed out that the otherwise “dry elections” will get colour with mud-slinging and character assassination.
“It is only election days when those misdeeds and secret properties of the candidates surface naturally before the public, which otherwise are hard to dig out even by the CBI and Intelligence Bureau. Cartoons and parodies against rivals help the creativity of artistes, writers and singers,” he said.
Making a suggestion to the media, Bhatti said that advertisements that run down opponents should be subsidised so that voter interest is kept alive in the election process.