Poll freebies get trendy in Jharkhand

Ranchi/Jamshedpur, Nov 21 (Inditop.com) Election freebies in Jharkhand are getting trendier, with caps, paper goggles and mobile phone covers carrying party logos and icons being freely distributed ahead of the assembly polls.

The days of posters, pamphlets and handbooks are over. In its place, political parties in Jharkhand are distributing paper goggles with a lotus – the BJP symbol – on it, caps bearing pictures of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, fancy sun shades and mobile phone covers with printed imprints of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren.

The Jharkhand Vikas Morcha, former chief minister Madhu Koda’s party, is distributing combs, while the BJP is cashing in on lotus-shaped balloons.

“We are giving green combs, which is the symbol of the party and green is the colour of the party. The combs symbolise cleansing and setting the house in order. The voters must remember to press the button on the comb symbol,” a JVM campaigner in Jamshedpur said. The first phase of polls is being held Nov 25.

Raghubar Das, the BJP candidate from Jamshedpur, is distributing lotus shaped balloons.

Apart from designer T-shirts, paper shades, the parties are also distributing designer key rings, metal belts, calendars, stickers, pocket diaries and small flags.

For married women, parties are distributing “mangalsutras” with party symbols inscribed on them.

“We have a huge women’s support base and we wanted to nurture them with a symbol that they could identify with,” a BJP worker said.

According to figures from the party office, the BJP has distributed 10,000-15,000 paper goggles with the lotus symbol among youths in Ranchi assembly constituency. The goggles were purchased from New Delhi.

“Since it’s the youth who are campaigning for us, we are distributing stylish accessories. Most of them ride motorbikes,” the BJP worker said.

The Congress is distributing pocket calendars.

The modernisation of poll accessories was aimed to “draw more young campaigners and give the political entities a more friendly and contemporary look”, said workers cutting across party lines.

Jharkhand is holding five-phased assembly polls Nov 25-Dec 18.