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HindustanTimes Tue,30 Sep 2014

Printers suffer as parties opt for hi-tech campaign

Neha Arora, Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, April 11, 2014
First Published: 10:59 IST(11/4/2014) | Last Updated: 11:03 IST(11/4/2014)

Election fever might have gripped the country far and wide with the 24x7 campaigning, but it has surely not brought a boom for the local printers of election material.

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The printing industry gets a fillip during elections, especially in the city which is considered a printing hub. However, this time around, election campaigns are a low-key affair courtesy the national-level campaigns managed by all leading political parties — Congress, BJP and BSP.

“This election, candidates of major political parties are getting campaign material directly from Delhi. The parties have hired companies to provide them with the poll material in bulk for distribution among their candidates throughout the country. This is the major reason we are sitting idle,” said Manish of Seema Arts printing unit.

Sandeep Kohli of Kohli Glow Signs said another reason for the slump in demand was the strict model code of conduct. “Due to the code, candidates are conscious while spending on election material.

We are not making the stock now. The orders are being placed depending on a candidate’s requirement,” he added.

During the earlier elections, local leaders used to buy campaign material in bulk but things have changed.

Printers in the city used to make flex boards, posters, banners and flags, but the payment remained a concern. “Local candidates make the payments late, while some pay the bills when the elections are over,” said printing unit owners.

“Besides the direct supply of poll material from Delhi, the parties’ focus has shifted from hoardings, flags and boards to print and television advertising. Over the years, the demand for campaign material has slumped due to an overt use of online and television media, which have gripped the market,” said Vishav Sharma, owner of Outdoor Catalyst.

“The candidates have to show expenditure on every single sticker or flex board, so they avoid publicity through these materials and prefer social media and networking sites,” said Manish, a trader.

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