Comedian files complaint as anti-government Facebook meme featuring him goes viral

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Panaji, July 14 (IANS) Popular comedy icon and Konkani theatre artist John D’Silva may have just inadvertently lent a not-so-comic touch to the ongoing controversies over the BJP-led government’s populist scheme of free distribution of LED bulbs.

Late on Wednesday, D’Silva, who features in the Limca Book of Records for writing, directing and acting in 25 plays with a double alphabet in the titles, filed a complaint with the Maina Curtorim police station in South Goa against one Prashant Parab for featuring him in a photo satire mocking the Jyotirmaya Ujala scheme under which three LED bulbs are expected to be distributed to nearly five lakh households in the state.

“My face was wrongly used for political end in the photo satire mocking the scheme,” D’Silva told IANS.

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Using images and text blurbs, the photo satire circulated on Facebook shows D’Silva and another comedian in a conversation about LED bulbs.

While D’Silva is shown asking the other comedian whether he received the three bulbs and if they were working alright, the other comedian says he didn’t get a chance to check them because there was no electricity for three days.

“This is a good scheme which gives people free LED bulbs. It is not to be mocked about. And if someone wants to crack a poor joke, they should’nt use my face on it,” D’Silva said.

Officials at the Maina Curtorim police station confirmed filing of the complaint.

“We have just received the complaint. We are looking into it,” a police official attached to the police station said.

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While Parab could not be contacted for comment, sources close to him said that the photo satire was meant to be humourous and was satirical in nature.

“It is unfortunate that John decided to file a police complaint. Knowing he is a comedian of such repute, one would have expected him to laugh it off,” Parab’s friend said requesting anonymity.

The Opposition has alleged a scam in the Jyotirmaya Ujala scheme, claiming the bulbs were available at a lesser price, than the one claimed by the state government. Opposition legislators have also accused the government of involving party cadres in the distribution of the free LED bulbs, which they claim is a poll-linked gimmick.

The state BJP president has however refuted the allegations claiming the LED bulbs had been procured under a central government scheme and that involving party workers in the distribution of the bulbs had led to unprecedented success in creating a buzz and awareness about the scheme.

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