Sale of campaign paraphernalia rises in Uttar Pradesh with Election Commission relaxing COVID curbs
According to some traders, there has been a 50 per cent increase in sale of campaign material ahead of the third phase polling on Sunday as compared to the first phase that took place on February 10.
LUCKNOW: With the Election Commission relaxing COVID-19-induced curbs on physical electioneering, the sale of campaign paraphernalia such as party flags, banners, badges and caps has picked up pace in Uttar Pradesh.
According to some traders, there has been a 50 per cent increase in sale of campaign material ahead of the third phase polling on Sunday as compared to the first phase that took place on February 10. With the COVID-19 situation improving in the country, particularly in the five poll-bound states, the Election Commission has relaxed guidelines on physical campaigning by candidates and parties.
Raju Shukla who runs Sheela Enterprises, located opposite the Samajwadi Party office in Lucknow, heaved a sigh of relief that the pandemic situation has improved and his sale grew.
"The sale of posters, banners and flags have picked up some pace. Among Samajwadi Party candidates, the maximum demand is for the party's trademark red cap and miniature bicycle (its election symbol). The cost of 100 medium flags is around Rs 600. The cycle badge costs in the range of Rs 300 to Rs 500 for 100 pieces," he told PTI.
He said that as compared to the first phase, the sale has now grown by 50 per cent. However, Shukla rued that major parties such as the SP and the BJP are distributing many campaign material from their headquarters, denting their sale.
Raghuraj Pal who runs a shop near the BJP office said the sale has gone up but not to the level that used to be earlier. As the BJP is giving its candidates some campaign material, the sale is not what it used to be, he added.
Saffron-coloured gamcha is selling in good numbers, besides party flags, banners and badges, he said. Surendra Awasthi, whose shop on Mall Avenue is near the Congress office, said 'Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon' badges are being sold the most, in addition to wrist bands.
Awasthi said the sale of election material has picked up pace after the second phase with the Covid situation improving and the Election Commission relaxing its campaign guidelines. Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur are being held in seven phases.
The final phase polling will be held on March 7 and the results will be declared on March 10.