GP Polls: Printing units in district make good business this season

Printing of ballot papers and handbills a necessity

While the District Administration has made elaborate arrangements to conduct the Gram Panchayat polls, scheduled to be held on Friday, in a peaceful manner, the candidates are busy wooing voters. Meanwhile, owners of printing presses in the district are happy as they are the major beneficiaries of the polls.

As Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are used for Lok Sabha and Vidhana Sabha elections, printing presses do not play a significant role in general elections. But, ballot papers are used for GP polls, so the printing press owners are doing brisk business, printing both handbills and ballot papers.
Except Bidar, ballot papers are being used in all districts for the GP polls. The contract for printing them has been awarded to the printing units in the respective districts. The workers are busy working day and night to complete the assignments.

Play safe
With the introduction of EVMs for Lok Sabha and Vidhana Sabha elections, printing presses had not much work, except for printing handbills. The contestants nowadays play safe and place limited orders for handbills, as the Election Commission keeps a tab on their expenditure, and opt for public meetings and door to door campaigning.

Different scenario
But, the scene is completely different during GP polls. There is no limits on poll expenditure and with each ward having approximately 400 to 1,300 voters, there is no opportunity for public meetings.
The candidates have to involve themselves in door-to-door canvassing and seek votes by distributing printed pamphlets, which has the photos of the candidates and symbols.

In Mandya district alone, more than 11,000 candidates contest for 230 GPs. The figures are enough to prove the amount of workload among printing presses.

Some press owners, who have bagged contract for printing ballot papers, are even turning down orders to print pamphlets and invitation cards. Among 11,000 candidates in the district, not more than 1,000 will be successful in winning the polls.

But, surely printing press proprietors will emerge winners and laugh their way to the banks. Shivaprakash of Ideal Printing Press confirmed that his press has been working without a break since the past few days, thanks to the GP polls. “Press owners have done good business by printing ballot papers and handbills”, he added.

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