Poll victory or defeat, ‘Modi’ will have a blast in Bihar
Ahead of the festival of lights on November 11-12, Patna is stocking up on fireworks named after Prime Minister Narendra Modi who carpet-bombed the state ahead of the five-phase polls, addressing more than 30 campaign rallies across Bihar.india Updated: Nov 08, 2015 14:07 IST
If you thought it was a cracker of an election in Bihar, you haven’t seen anything yet.
Ahead of the festival of lights on November 11-12, Patna is stocking up on fireworks named after Prime Minister Narendra Modi who carpet-bombed the state ahead of the five-phase polls, addressing more than 30 campaign rallies across Bihar.
And party workers and supporters of the BJP-led NDA, confident of victory on Sunday, are leading the way in purchasing anything with the Modi name on it – from Modi rockets and bombs to Modi chakris and phuljharis (sparklers).
Exit polls by TV channels after the last phase of polls on Thursday gave a mixed verdict, with some predicting a win by the NDA while some others giving the winner’s baton to the grand alliance of the ruling JD-U, RJD and Congress. A few have predicted a close finish.
Market sources pointed out that though Modi crackers were also in demand last Diwali, which came after the BJP’s spectacular success in the Lok Sabha polls, the coinciding of the festival and elections this year has given an added spark to the market.
“I do not know what will happen on November 8 (counting day) but the firecracker market has gone, ‘Modi-Modi,” said Vishal Chourasia, a vendor in Patna city, a suburb of the state capital where the tenth Sikh Guru Govind Singh was born.
Choursia, who did not reveal his political affiliation, also said that unlike previous years, demand for crackers with the brandname of chief minister Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Yadav is “much less”.
Rajesh Kumar, a firecracker wholesaler, too said he has received bulk orders for Modi brand firecrackers from NDA leaders across the state.
Other vendors HT spoke to said that firecrackers named after Bollywood stars, which are always popular, have turned out to be damp squib in this election season.
“Though on a lesser scale, Nitish and Lalu crackers are also selling but Modi is leading the way,” said another vendor.
In 2014, Patna city’s firecracker business was officially pegged between Rs 20-22 crore but sources said that it could be as high as Rs 50 crore as a huge volume of sales is illegal.
According to a whole-seller who did not want to be identified, business this time was likely to be “much higher”. He, however, did not give estimates.
Nitin Kumar, son of opposition leader Nand Kishore Yadav, who admitted to have boiugh Modi crackers worth Rs 25,000, said that “2015 Diwali will be a special festival for us”.
Not to be undone, an RJD worker Guddu Yadav too exuded confidence that the alliance will “celebrate Diwali on November 8 and November 11”.
Either way, Bihar is bracing for a blast.