Kurban Ali shows a maroon bundi, popularised by former CM Arjun Munda, at the khadi kiosk near Albert Ekka Chowk in Ranchi on Monday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Elections are not won on ideologies alone these days. Style matters as much.
To dress up Jharkhand’s motley group of politicians in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, Khadi Gram Udyog Bhavan has opened a new counter near its Albert Ekka Chowk outlet.
The new kiosk is taking orders for bundi coats and silk kurta-pyjamas. Apart from these, tried-and-tested cotton kurta-pyjamas are also in high demand.
Seasoned tailor Kurban Ali has been the dresser of choice for many Jharkhand politicians over decades. Speaking to The Telegraph, Ali said that the new counter had opened to cater to sartorial fetish of MP hopefuls.
“We are working on a tight deadline. We have to ready the clothes by April 14,” said the 58-year-old, adding that eminent leaders across all parties had sought their services.
“After filing of nominations on March 26, we started receiving orders from various politicians. The first name on the list was that of Congress’s Lohardaga candidate Rameshwar Oraon, who has asked for a white kurta-pyjama set. BJP’s state unit president Ravindra Rai, contesting from Koderma, placed orders for four sets of cotton kurta-pyjama in shades of blue and green,” he said, adding that the clothes were ready for delivery.
Ali revealed that the list of his star customers was a long one. “While Congress leader and MP hopeful from Ranchi Subodh Kant Sahay has placed orders for white kurta-pyjama and black bundi, former chief minister Arjun Munda has asked us to prepare a maroon bundi. Mundaji’s coat is ready for delivery,” he said.
He pointed out that the former chief minister’s coat had become a hot favourite among young party workers.
The veteran tailor said he was working over 10 hours every day to ready the orders on time.
Speaking on poll fashion, Ali said besides, white kurta-pyjamas, maroon bundis and beige silk kurtas, gold and light green ensembles were in vogue too.
Young BJP workers have embraced NaMo style half-sleeve kurtas and cream or saffron bundi coats. These are available in tussar, matka and mulberry silk.
Sources at the khadi outlet said their proceeds had shot up by over 25 per cent after the announcement of the Lok Sabha elections. While khadi material for a white pyjama costs Rs 250 per metre, the same for kurta is Rs 300-400 a metre. As for silk, the rate for kurta material starts at Rs 580 per metre and goes up to Rs 800.
Ranchi alone has seven khadi outlets and the state boasts around 500 stores.