Guess who is ‘batting’ for Gujarat CM Narendra Modi in the run-up to the assembly elections. It is people such as Mohammad Asif Dar, cricket bat manufacturers of Kashmir.
They are busy making bats, nearly 100,000, to be given as election gifts to people during Modi’s month-long yatra in the name of Swami Vivekanand, who incidentally was an avid cricketer and whose picture will be on the bats.
The Gujarat government has placed the order with more than 10 companies in the hub of bat manufacturing in Halhullah Sangam, a small hamlet in Anantnag, about 45 km south of Srinagar.
The stickers to be pasted on the bats have the slogan “Gujarat will play, Gujarat will win”.
The bats, 34-35 inches in length, are slightly bigger than the regular ones and are made of the famous Kashmir willow.
“We are not bothered for whom they are and what purpose. It doesn’t matter what is written on the bat — the BJP or the Congress,” said Dar, owner of Goodluck Sports.
Mushtaq Ahmed, owner of Alpha Sports and also president of the Bat Manufacturers Association of Kashmir, said, “For us this is like any other big order as the dealers from outside will surely make a lot of money.”