Narendra Modi's rivals may get away questioning the veracity of pre-poll surveys that give him a lead by way of the number of seats he is likely to win for his party in the ensuing Lok Sabha poll.
But there is no getting away from the BJP prime ministerial nominee's unrivalled popularity in another kind of market – the Holi one!
Packets of yellow colour bearing a picture of 'NaMo' are the hottest selling item in Patna city, the old part of Bihar's capital, in the run up to Holi –the Hindu festival of colours, which will be celebrated on Monday.
Also in the market are pink colour packets bearing a picture of Modi's arch rival, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and 'green' colour packets 'endorsed' by a picture of RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
Sources in the local market said the colour packets bearing pictures of the three politicians surfaced on Saturday. By Sunday noon, traders had done business worth 'thousands of rupees'.
"Priced at Rs. 40 to Rs. 80 per packet, they are flying off the shelves", said Mohammad Naushad, who was selling Holi items in Patna city, close to the Paschim Darwaza locality in the old part of the town.
Other traders said nothing came close to the demand for colour yellow, endorsed by NaMo's picture, allegedly used without the knowledge BJP's PM nominee.
Official sources in Patna city said there could be no doubt that none of the three political figures, whose pictures were being used to market the items, had the faintest clue this was happening.
"These colours are manufactured in private homes. Pictures of celebrities, political or otherwise, are used without their consent or knowledge to push the sales. This is clearly illegal but almost impossible to check", said an official.
Mukesh Kumar, who had a stall at Maccharhatta locality of Patna city, said youth and students were the leading buyers of NaMo's yellow. "There was a sudden spurt in its sales today after Modi's candidature was announced from Varanasi in UP, close to the Bihar border", he told HT on Sunday.
Mukesh said colours pink and green, endorsed by pictures of Nitish and Lalu, respectively, were fairly popular, too, but they had no age or vocation specific clientele.
To the disappointment of a section of the local residents which had been actively associated with Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), there was no 'AAP' brand of colour on the scene.
Interestingly, inscriptions on the colour packets bearing politicians pictures claimed they were 'herbal' products, guaranteed not to have any adverse impact on human eyes or skin.