Wholesale traders in campaign materials, who have opened their outlets in election offices of different political parties in the run-up to the Jalandhar municipal corporation elections, are glum over lukewarm response for their wares among both nominees and their supporters.
Preference among candidates for a personalised campaign through liberal use of Information Technology and social networking websites has poured cold water over plans of these traders to make a killing in the coming polls.
"We brought campaign material of every political party and even set up special counters at election offices of each party to offer campaign materials at wholesale prices. But so far, the response is very lukewarm as daily sale has not crossed even Rs 1,000," lamented Abdul Gaffar Ansari, owner of Bharat Handloom Cloth House of Sadar Bazar in New Delhi.
An array of campaign materials, including, necklaces, hair clips, caps, bangles, badges and flags with poll symbols of different political parties are available. Barring flags, no candidate has bought other campaign materials
Interestingly, an HT team came across a box full of 'mangal sutras' with Congress poll symbol at a stall in BJP office. When pointed out, its incharge Chhotu was visibly embarrassed. "As we carry campaign materials of every political party, sometimes these get mixed up," he said sheepishly.
Hurriedly, he replaced the box and offered 'mangal sutras' carrying BJP's lotus poll symbol.
It was learnt that as most candidates opted a door to door campaign, they were using handbills with their poll promises to woo voters.
Bhagat Manohar Lal, a BJP leader, averred that candidates had opted for IT and mobile phones to send SMSes to voters.
Charanjiv Singh Lally, who manages election office of SAD, revealed that he had instructed all candidates to open a special page on Facebook for poll campaign and have a direct rapport with voters, especially youngsters, to apprise them of their agenda and poll promises.
"All candidates are equipped with telephone data of voters in particular wards and the process of sending SMSes has already been resorted to by SAD candidates," Lally claimed.