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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Lifestyle

From Narendra Modi mugs to Rahul Gandhi T-shirts: Polls rule markets
Aditi Pant, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 23, 2014
First Published: 15:18 IST(23/3/2014)
Last Updated: 09:05 IST(24/3/2014)
http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2014/3/23_03_14_htcitypg1b.jpgMove over Sadar Bazaar, the hub of political paraphernalia, until now.

In a bid to woo the youth of the country and with election fever at its peak, merchandise of political parties has found a new address:

Internet.
Several websites such as Bluegape, Snapdeal, Flipkart and Printvenue are selling quirky merchandise of the three big political contenders this time: Aam http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2014/3/23_03_14_htcitypg1d.jpgAadmi Party (AAP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress.

And, the products have undergone a makeover too!

From cool T-shirts featuring Rahul Gandhi, mugs endorsing AAP, laptop bags and clocks with Narendra Modi’s picture to the now-famous jhaadu (AAP symbol), are all hotsellers.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2014/3/23_03_14_htcitypg1i.jpg"Maximum traction is from T-shirts and mugs, so clearly youngsters are flocking our website, and don’t forget the jhaadu. When we launched the jhaadu campaign in February, we sold 6,000 jhaadus in two days," says Mudit Khosla, CEO, Tradus.com.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2014/3/23_03_14_htcitypg1e.jpg"We get 150 orders per day, which makes about 30% of our business. Since it’s doing so well, we’ve also partnered with other websites," says Sahil Baghla, CEO, Bluegape.com.

Interestingly, the selling ploy of each party is different  — while anti-corruption and change is the highlight of AAP merchandise, development is the plank on which NaMo products are being sold.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2014/3/23_03_14_htcitypg1j.jpg"We talked to the social media team of AAP about selling party-based merchandise and have been selling as well as sourcing them to other websites. The party approves as this gives them popularity among youngsters. Even the NaMo team approached us to sell their merchandise," says Baghla.

However, some parties say that they are not involved.
http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2014/3/23_03_14_htcitypg1.jpg
"Fans or retailers may be selling merchandise on their own accord, but we have no such directive from our party,” says Kushal, AAP volunteer.

Geeta Pandey, an MBA student and Congress supporter, who bought a Rahul Gandhi T-shirt online, says: "This is my way of showing support."

Sellers are happy to see the youth stepping into the political movement like never before.
http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2014/3/23_03_14_htcitypg1f.jpg
"We’ve seen a massive sale of political memorabilia. Fans are also approaching us to sell merchandise," says Tony Navin of Snapdeal.com.

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