Traders make hay by selling election campaign gear

 And, no wonder, the city traders are laughing all the way to the bank as campaigning has heated up in poll-bound West Bengal.

Traders in Burra Bazaar, one of the biggest wholesale markets in India, have been doing brisk business in election gears that are currently in use for campaigning. Many have put aside their usual business and are dealing in poll paraphernalia to make a quick buck.

Says Paras Gambhir of S P Textiles, which otherwise deals in blankets, “Summer is usually a lean time for our business. We did good business in 2009 (General Elections); so we decided to do it again this time.”

“On a daily basis we have been selling an average of 2,000 to 3,000 pieces of all material, which include umbrellas, t-shirts, caps, vests, hair clips, badges, and saris,” says Gambhir, one of the wholesale traders here.

When asked about the highest demand of poll gears of a particular political party, he pauses for a while and looks around for a second and then breaks into a smile, “The umbrella carrying the print of twinflowers of the Trinamool Congress has clocked the largest sale. We've sold at least 30,000 so far.” Giving reasons for such a high demand for umbrellas he said, “The demand is very high from the districts and we still have a print order for around 10,000 more.”
According to Rajinder Singh of N R Traders who sells readymade garments, several traders in Burrabazar have switched over to poll paraphernalia after noticing the brisk business.
“I am no exception either; for the last ten days, I have been selling a significant quantity of flags, caps and umbrellas,” he said.

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