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It’s boom time for traders dealing with campaign material

Kolkata (PTI): Its election time, but at Biren Natto’s store in the Bowbazar area here, arch-rivals Trinamool Congress and CPI(M) or BJP and Congress bury their hatchets and co-exist.

Natto is among the few traders who deal with campaign material and representatives of all political parties are queueing up at their stores to stock up as campaign picks up for the coming Lok Sabha elections.

Campaign material like vinyl box posters, flex, paper posters, cut-outs, banners, flags, handbills, kites, caps and umbrellas printed with party symbols are the top draws among the parties and traders are finding it difficult to cope with the bulk orders, which they say, are still pouring in.

“For us all political parties are same. We as individuals may have our political beliefs, but when it comes to business, all are same for us. We charge the same for our products from every party or candidate who place orders,” said Natto.

Natto, who has been in this business for the last 15 years, has put up more printing machines in his press to deal with the growing pressure of orders.

“Orders will increase after Holi. Campaign has been a bit low till now, but will pick up soon with the first phase of nominations,” he said.

Natto has already received orders from Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts, which will go to the polls on April 17, the first phase in West Bengal.

Bikash Majhi, another trader at College Street who also deals with orders from other states, says it is customary for bigger parties of any particular state or region to place the biggest order.

“Orders have started coming in since the last week of February. Once Holi is over, we expect to receive more orders from the districts,” he said.

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