Arow of small shops in New Delhi’s Sadar Bazar area are raking it in these days. These shops are selling flags, banners and motifs of political parties. For them elections are peak business season, much like Holi and Diwali.
“Our turnover is around Rs40-50 lakh in the election season, which lasts for around two-three months,” said Anil Gupta, a manufacturer and wholesale dealer in Sadar Bazar. “Though election publicity material sells throughout the year, it picks up especially during general elections.” Rough estimates show there are around 300 such shops in Sadar Bazar.
“In state elections, too, we have huge demand for flags, banners and other items because regional parties want to be more visible.”
Industry body Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) estimates that political parties spend Rs10-12 crore on a parliamentary constituency during a general election. Of this, Rs25-40 lakh is spent on flags, banners and other promotional items.
The business of these shops is, however, not limited to plain vanilla promotional items.
Gupta says that to attract women voters, political parties place orders for bangles, pins and even ‘mangalsutras’ depicting the party’s election symbol on the pendant.
Not just shopkeepers but slum dwellers, too, make money from the elections. Most of the promotional items are manufactured in the slums of Delhi, such as Nand Nagri, Usmanpur and Budh Vihar.
Compiled by Mint reporters