China is not a democracy but it is participating in India’s democratic process.
Products from China will grab a large slice of the market for election material in Madhya Pradesh, where the assembly polls will be held in November. The stuff on offer are simple badges, bands, colourful lights, gas balloons and masks.
“Madhya Pradesh is the second-largest state in India, having 51 districts. There is a huge market for election material here. Chinese entrepreneurs are showing interest in providing publicity material. They have got in touch with us through businessmen in Delhi, showing their eagerness to do business here. Chinese publicity material will surely add a new dimension to electioneering here,” said Ajay Agrawal, who supplies political parties election material.
Agrawal said one product that would catch the imagination of voters were masks of politicians. Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi used this to great effect during the polls in his state in December 2012.
“There are masks of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi,” he said, adding, “political parties are also demanding huge hoardings with special effect. Imported from China, we also have giant balloons bearing party symbols that can be floated anywhere. This is a first in the country.”
The Chinese may be battle-ready, but the traders here are treading cautiously because the Election Commission is keeping a watch on poll expenses.