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No small change this

india Updated: Mar 07, 2009 22:27 IST
Namita Kohli

This poll season, the phrase ‘youth spin’ has reached Vinod Chaudhary’s cramped office in Joshi Colony in East Delhi. And this designer and printer of banners and posters has his plan ready. “There’s an IPL calendar at the back of the plastic handouts, so people can use it after elections too,” says Chaudhary, who just got the designs approved by “madam Priya Dutt”. He is also excited about the “billa-challa (badges and keychains)” that seem to be making a comeback this time.

When it comes to posters and banners, there’s a strict hierarchy to mind. All Congress posters must have the faces of Sonia, Rahul and Manmohan on them. “Junior party workers sometimes say, ‘At least place the local candidate’s face too’,” says Chaudhary.

Abdul Ghafoor, a flag maker based in Delhi’s Sadar Bazaar, says, “Both the lotus and the hand symbols have become bigger in size these days. There are bags and purses being made too... And for the BJP, since the last Gujarat elections, a lot of (Narendra) Modi images are being used apart from Advani’s.”

Once a painter’s terrain, the making of posters, banners and flags has now been almost completely taken over by ‘flex’ and digital printing. With prices ranging Rs 5-1,600 for one print (depending on the size), it’s cost effective and can be copied fast.

But there’s a risk too. “If a party loses, they may not pay. If they win, they may be of help to us,” says a manufacturer.