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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

Street vendors record brisk business despite cash crunch outside Modi’s rally venue

Food stalls outside Prime Minister’s rally venue in Dehradun buck demonetisation blues

dehradun Updated: Dec 27, 2016 21:01 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times
People outside a food stall near the venue of PM Narendra Modi's rally in Dehradun on Tuesday
People outside a food stall near the venue of PM Narendra Modi's rally in Dehradun on Tuesday (Vinay Santosh Kumar/Hindustan Times)

It will be too early to say whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally here on Tuesday will strike gold for the BJP in the ballot box when the state go to poll early next year. But it has certainly brought cheers to many street vendors who did a brisk business outside the rally venue despite demonetisation.

Thirty-eight-year-old Seema reached Baanu ground with her daughter at 8am, braving early morning chill, to put up a rajma- chawal stall. The crowd, who thronged to hear the Prime Minister, did not disappoint her.

“On any normal days, I hardly do a business of Rs 3000. The income further dipped after the note ban announced by Modi last month. But today I am expecting to do a business of at least Rs 7000,” she told HT while serving a customer a plate of piping hot rajama chawal.

Businesses were generally dull in the hill state since Prime Minister announced scrapping of banknotes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denominations on November 8.

Sensing business opportunity in this season of cash crunch, dozens of vendors like Seema strategically put up stalls at the ground where vehicles that brought party supporters from nearby areas were parked.

Hukum Singh, a caterer by profession, was another vendor who profited from the rally. “I do catering for small parties. But, I knew thousands of people will be reaching the capital to attend Modiji’s rally which will provide me good opportunity to earn some quick bucks selling chole-rajma-chawal,” he said.

Apart from food stalls, those selling popcorns, band tikki, smaosa, chowmein, spring rolls, boiled eggs and even groundnuts outside the Parade Ground, where Modi addressed the rally, had a good run as people beelined to them for quick bites.

Anil Paswan, who hails from Bihar, had put up three stalls of various food items. All were cramped with customers. “For a small business man like me, it’s Diwali again today,” he said.

Juice corners and candy sellers too had a busy time catering to the customers demand. “All my candies were sold within a few hours. I wish I could brought more,” Suresh, a candy seller said.

The spurt in the business was witnessed despite Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) too making arrangements for food for the crowds in various places. Items like kadhi-chawal, rajma –chawal and even chole-chawal were served to those who came from outstation to attend the rally.

First Published: Dec 27, 2016 21:01 IST

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