Uttarakhand elections 2017: Shaktiman ‘killer’ MLA thanks Congress’ Harish Rawat for increasing his TRP

Joshi has taken cue from US President Donald Trump to reach out to voters.

Joshi has also taken cue from US President Donald Trump to reach out to voters. (ANI image)

The high-voltage campaigning has drawn to a close in 69 seats in Uttarakhand for the polls on February 15. The electoral battle in Uttarakhand is an interesting one as about a dozen rebel candidates in fray as Independents may upset the calculations of Congress and BJP which have been traditionally the two main contenders for power in the state. While the campaigning saw the top brass of the main parties in fray addressing a slew of rallies, roadshows and public meetings, one man stood out with his unique poll-pitch. Incumbent BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi, who had allegedly hit police horse Shaktiman during a protest, has sarcastically thanked Uttarakhand Chief Minister and Congress’ face in the state Harish Rawat for increasing his TRP. Shaktiman, a trained horse, who was part of Uttarakhand mounted police for years died after suffering injuries at a BJP protest rally.

“I have faith in God. I want to thank (Uttarakhand Chief Minister) Harish Rawat for increasing my TRP so much. Even if I had spent crores, I would not have been able to do that. He tried to defame me, but the truth came out after three days, and national channels showed ‘Shaktiman Ka Sach’… that I was not there at all, its foot was stuck in an angle. People then supported me and agreed that it was a conspiracy against me,” Joshi said.

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“People of my area know that if anyone gets hurt, I take them to the hospital in my car. They know that I can never do this (hitting the horse). It has not damaged my reputation, it has only helped me,” he claims.

Joshi has also taken cue from US President Donald Trump to reach out to voters. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is his favourite chant to woo the electorates in his assembly seat Mussoorie.

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“Even Trump contested his election in the name of Modiji. All the surveys were against Trump, but when he named Modiji in his broken Hindi — ‘acche din aane wale hain… Trump sarkar’ — he won the election. When Trump was asked after his victory how he would work, he replied, ‘I will work like Narendra Modi’,” Joshi said..

Shaktiman, which suffered multiple fractures on its hind leg during a BJP protest here triggering widespread outrage, had died after battling infection and other complications for over a month. Shaktimans story stirred many across the country after it was seen in television visuals taking multiple blows and dragging its broken, mangled limb in excruciating pain during the protest on March 14. The 13-year-old didnt respond well to a prosthetic leg brought from the US, doctors said. It spent the past few weeks at the police lines in Dehradun. It was a well trained horse and part of Uttarakhand Mounted Police for years. It had participated in several parades.

Joshi, accused of instigating the brutal attack on the horse, said, “I am very sad. I was not at fault, not even 0.1 per cent. If I am found guilty, then cut my leg.” The lawmaker was even arrested but later let off on bail.

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