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Party symbol tattoo on cheeks
Published on 10 Mar. 2009 12:11 AM IST
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It’s time for the great Indian election circus and political parties are doing everything to campaign - through posters, cut-outs, flags and caps. The latest is flaunting tattoos of the party symbol on cheeks, hands or even the chest. Election campaign material manufacturers are busy handling orders from political parties for tattoos with party symbols that are not only cheaper but can be sported for as long as a week. “Looking at the enquiries from various political parties, we are concentrating more on manufacture of tattoos,” said V.N. Sharma, proprietor of Raje Enterprises, a supplier of campaign material. Sharma, who has been in this business for over three decades, said that the main reason behind the growing popularity of the tattoos is its cost effectiveness. “A tattoo costs between Rs.2 and 3 and looking at the Election Commission’s guideline on campaign expenses, the parties are trying to go in for a product that is cheaper, smaller and can be used for a few days,” Sharma told IANS. “The tattoo can be sported on the cheeks, hands, head or chest by the workers,” he said. The company has already started manufacturing tattoos for the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party. “Besides these, many regional parties are also in touch with us and have shown interest in the tattoos,” he added. “We are supplying 50,000 tattoos to the Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh.” It’s just not tattoos - caps, stickers and mufflers with the party symbol are also in vogue as they are much cheaper than flags and banners. A cap is made with the party’s name and logo printed on it and costs between Rs.5 and 12 while a sticker, usually with the candidate’s name, costs between Rs.1 and 5 per piece. A muffler costs Rs.3-10 per piece, Sharma said. According to the suppliers, ‘mangalsutras’, symbol of marriage worn mainly by Hindu women, radium stickers that glow in the night and pouches with the party symbol printed on it are also catching the fancy of political parties. Mangulsutras with party symbols are becoming popular among the women workers. “Each mangalsutra costs Rs.30-35 per piece and workers of different political parties are buying them for free distribution among women activists,” R.K. Singh, a manufacturer of campaign material said.

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