KOLKATA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to capture West Bengal skies much ahead of next year’s state Assembly elections. Bengalis gear up for the kite festival on Biswakarma Puja on Friday and lakhs of
kites with Modi’s pictures have already been sold across the state.
The markets have been flooded with ‘Modi kites’ for the first time since he became the PM. In Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal, arguably no other politician has figured on kites. The kites, priced at `5, are made from plastic sheets instead of paper. There are three patterns of ‘Modi kites’ available in the market.
On one with the backdrop of the tri-colour, Modi’s picture is embossed with the title ‘Mahanayak’ (great leader) and the slogan: ‘achhey din aa gaaye’ (good days have come). On another one, there is a picture of Modi along with US President Barack Obama. The third set has photographs of Modi and Sardar Patel’s proposed “Statue of Unity” in Gujarat. Interestingly, BJP’s poll symbol lotus was off the kites.
Kite traders said that the threads for the kites came from Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh but the printed plastic sheets came from Gujarat where kite festival on Basant Panchami day in January is a gala event. Even Modi, as Gujarat Chief Minister, had promoted the festival in a big way by flying kites along with Bollywood superstar Salman Khan much to the delight of his followers.
The traders said that each year kite designers from Gujarat visit the city to obtain orders for plastic sheets on which photographs are printed. The colourful printed sheets are then sent to Bengal where kite makers cut them into various sizes and shapes. This year, ‘Modi kites’ were imported not only from Ahmedabad but also from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh.