Shimla, April 17 (Inditop) Is your cap maroon in front? Then you must be a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporter. Is it green? Then you are with the Congress. So goes the understanding in Himachal Pradesh.
The round Bushehri cap – named after a former princely state in the Himalayas – has a coloured front flap that now proclaims the political loyalty of the person wearing it.
It started with former Congress chief minister Virbhadra Singh wearing a cap with a green flap. His supporters rushed to buy the same.
Now incumbent BJP Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has made the maroon flap popular.
“There is a lot of political colour attached to these caps. If there is a Congress government (in the state), people’s preference is for a green band. If a BJP chief minister is in the saddle, people go for the maroon cap,” said Vepa Rao, formerly of the Himachal Pradesh University here.
“I am buying a maroon cap because it proclaims on whose side you are,” said H.N. Kashyap, a BJP leader who unsuccessfully contested the last Lok Sabha elections from the Shimla constituency.
Naresh Singh Negi, a shopkeeper at the Lakkar Bazaar here, said he sold half a dozen maroon caps every day. “The sales are rising with the rise in political temperature.”
Himachal Pradesh will go to the polls for its four Lok Sabha seats May 13.
The Congress won the Shimla, Kangra and Mandi seats in 2004. The BJP bagged the Hamirpur seat