Sale of paraphernalia down due to implementation of code of conduct

Anvita Srivastava
Wednesday, 10 April 2019

“We have our in-house research and development team that works on different products and as this was an election year, we started working on various designs suiting the political drama since January,” said Girish Murudkar, the owner of the store.

PUNE: As the #MainbhiChowkidaar campaign by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is gaining popularity among masses on social media, it has also set a trend of ‘Main Bhi Chowkidaar’ T-shirts, badges and caps in the markets. However, employees of Murudkar Zendewale claimed that the strict implementation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) through the cVIGIL application has affected the business and the sale of flags and caps has seen a decline.

“We have our in-house research and development team that works on different products and as this was an election year, we started working on various designs suiting the political drama since January,” said Girish Murudkar, the owner of the store.

For this election season, Murudkar Zendewale has come up with a variety of products such as flags, masks, cutouts of political leaders, uparanas (stoles), badges and a variety of headgears. However, the small flags of average size one and a half foot is one of the most popular products for all the parties as it was widely used in the rallies. Another product that is gaining popularity is hats because of the scorching heat in the city. “As the ‘Main Bhi Chowkidaar’ campaign gained popularity, we came up with products like T-shirts, caps, turbans and badges with slogans written on them,” he added.

“There are two varieties in that, one is in the colour combination of BJP colours i.e., orange and green and other one with a white background,” Murudkar added.

“We received a lot of demands from the citizens, social workers and professionals who wanted to express themselves without affiliation to any political party. Thus, we started a collection of ‘Main Bhi Chowkidaar’ and ‘Namo again’ products for citizens as well. We are selling at least five to 10 such products every day,” he added.

“Blue flags of Republican Party of India are also in demand as every political party is buying it to show their support for RPI,” said Girish.

Talking about social media’s impact on the business, he said, “There is a major implication of social media as many political parties prefer to buy designer products like Puneri pagdis, turbans, shahi phetas, stoles made from zari and batches with floral work which are in huge demand. These designer products are worn by the candidates so that they can upload their images on social media for promotion.” 

These designer stoles range from Rs 200 to Rs 300 per piece, whereas various headgears including turbans, Bajirao pagdi etc are in the range of Rs 500 to Rs 3,500.

Murudkar claimed that due to the strict implementation of the MCC, there was a drop in his turnover. He said, “Due to the cVIGIL app launched by the Election Commission (EC), every citizen can report about the violation of the code. This has reduced the sales to up to 70 per cent. Due to this reason, social media promotion is also more in demand. Hence, we are focusing more on designer products.”

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