Ashok Das, I salute you, for "Politicians and their wild campaigns" (Hindustan Times, Tuesday, October 24), is a certified masterpiece.
"Politicians are never known to be civil while dealing with their rivals -- not even in the best of times.
After incidents of leaders having a go at each other during assembly sessions comes the latest from Vijayawada, the erstwhile political and cultural capital of Andhra Pradesh.
It all started about 10 days ago, when Telugu Desam Party [TDP] activists in Guntur decorated a buffalo in Congress party colours and hung a placard around its neck which read: 'I am Rajasekhar Reddy. I am thick-skinned and insulated to criticism. Do whatever you like, I will not resign.'
The buffalo was taken around the streets of the town as part of the TDP's statewide campaign to force Reddy to resign in the wake of a Supreme Court order quashing the pardon granted to a murder convict.
The Congress hit back. They got a donkey decorated in the TDP's yellow colour, which, like the TDP's buffalo, carried a placard saying: 'I am Chandrababu Naidu. I speak lies and utter lies. I change my stand to suit me. I betrayed my father-in-law for the sake of power." The donkey led a procession of slogan-shouting Congressmen through the streets of Vijayawada.
Congress activists though the TDP hadn't been hit hard enough. So two days later, they took out another rally with a dog in TDP colours. This time, the placard read: 'I am Chandrababu Naidu. I only bark.'
The battle had just begun. They got a man to look like Rajasekhar Reddy and paraded him through the streets with a group of seemingly irate women chasing him and thrashing him with chappals, broomsticks, rotten eggs and tomatoes.
What were the police doing all this while? The drama was too good for them to interrupt [...]"
Disclaimer: This picture is from Vaarttha, a Telugu paper I found on the Interwebs. I'm not sure it's a picture of the incident (since I don't read Telugu), but it's from the paper's Guntur edition on a date near that mentioned in Das' article.