Holi hai! Netas buying baloon to celebrate victory

Lucknow: Poll season appears to have brought cheers for the manufacturers of holi merchandise like colours, baloons in Uttar Pradesh, said Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (ASSOCHAM) survey.

Most of the shopkeepers said that there has been a rise of up to 40 per cent in the sales as many supporters are buying holi 'pichkaris', colours and merchandise plastered with the images of different political parties, a survey by ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation noted.

"Though holi festival has been used by political parties across most parts of India to connect with the masses and bond with voters, election season has certainly made it lucrative for colour manufacturers in and around UP where this festival is celebrated the most," said D S Rawat, national secretary general of ASSOCHAM while releasing the findings of survey.

Many shopkeepers said they have come up with innovative water guns, colour sprays and balloons with stickers or prints of various political parties and most of the stuff has been sold as cadres contact them with bulk orders.

"There is an element of excitement owing to poll season as results would come near the Holi (on Monday)," the survey said. The results of the five state assembly elections will be out tomorrow.

The survey was conducted to ascertain the impact of elections on sale of holi merchandise in UP, Uttarakhand, Punjab and other states.

During the past one month, ASSOCHAM representatives interacted with about 100 manufacturers/ suppliers/ traders of holi colours, water-guns, t-shirts and other such items in Allahabad, Hathras, Kanpur, Lucknow, Mathura, Meerut, and Varanasi that are known world over for their holi festivities.

Besides, the ASSOCHAM foundation also interacted randomly with about 200 shopkeepers in prominent wholesale and retail markets selling Holi merchandise in 10 cities including those in Ahmedabad, Delhi-NCR, Dehradun, Ludhiana, Patiala, Jaipur, Mumbai and Panaji.

PTI