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Ladoos are better than coins

Coins have given way to ladoos to weigh candidates in the fray for elections in Punjab, reports Jatin Gandhi.

india Updated: Feb 09, 2007 21:27 IST

In the state this time, supporters have become money wise. The tradition of weighing their favoured candidate in coins is passé. Ladoos  are better, not only because these are cheaper but also because the candidate has no other choice but to distribute the sweets. 

Satpal Gosain, who is contesting the election from Ludhiana East on the Bhartiya Janta Party ticket, has been weighed in ladoos  twice in the last two days. "This is a new thing, earlier it was always coins," says Pran Bhatia, Gosain's associate.

The economics is simple. For a candidate weighing 80 kg – and there are many in the fray who weigh even more – one rupee coins cost Rs 8,000. Ladoos, at Rs 40 a kilo are much cheaper. "Coins are used as funds for the campaigning but the ladoos  get distributed there and then. How many ladoos  can a candidate take with him?" says Neelam Kapoor, whose brother Harish Rai Dhanda is the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) candidate from Ludhiana West. Dhanda, she says, has been weighed in ladoos, sometimes coins and once even dry-fruit.

Agricultural commission agents in Fazilka constituency of Ferozepur weighed Congress candidate and sitting MLA Mohinder Kumar Rinwa, 43 times over a span of two days, mostly with ladoos. The agents who preferred ladoos  to coins ended up saving over Rs 1.5 lakh. "But we weighed him in coins and even gave him additional donation," says Om Prakash Setia, president of the local commission agents' association. "We know he is going to win," he adds.