Supporters shower flowers on Narendra Modi on his way to the BJP headquarters in New Delhi on Saturday. Picture by Prem Singh
New Delhi, May 17: The economic revival promised by Narendra Modi seems to have already begun for some.
By Friday morning itself, the first indications of a BJP victory had turned into a bonanza for Delhi’s florists, sweet makers and firecracker sellers.
From then till this evening, sources said, the party headquarters had bought 5,000kg flowers, 6,500kg laddoos and barfis, and at least Rs 15 lakh worth of fireworks. The party supporters have embarked on their own buying sprees.
The celebrations climaxed this morning when hundreds of BJP workers and supporters gave the Prime Minister-elect a rousing welcome, showering marigold flowers and rose petals when he reached the BJP’s Ashoka Road office.
“Lagta hai hamare achchhe din aa gaye hain (It seems the happy days have arrived for us),” grinned Sanjeev Kumar, a florist in south Delhi’s Chattarpur.
Sonu, owner of the adjacent flower shop, broke into a jig, singing the BJP’s election anthem: “Achchhe din aaney waley hain (Happy days are around the corner).”
Sanjeev, 50, who owns another shop in Ghazipur, Delhi’s biggest flower market, said sales had skyrocketed since yesterday.
“I sold 500kg of marigolds and rose petals yesterday at Ghazipur market, which has been teeming with BJP supporters since Friday morning,” he said.
Rustam Ali, one of the 100-odd florists at Ghazipur market, was busy calling up flower growers in nearby villages to ask for bigger supplies over the next few days.
“The BJP supporters have been buying in bulk and placing advance orders,” he explained. “Marigold garlands weighing between 10kg and 15kg are in huge demand.”
Sweets sellers too have their hands full.
“The Delhi BJP placed an order for 1,100kg of laddoos and barfis on Friday morning and asked us to deliver them by afternoon. We did, despite the very short notice,” said a co-owner of a leading sweet shop chain in Old Delhi.
Sales, he said, had shot up eightfold to tenfold. “My workers are thrilled at Modi’s victory and are working extra hours to meet the demand. Has not the PM-designate too promised to deliver so many things?” he winked.
BJP supporters were also thronging the sweet shops at Bengali Market, central Delhi.
Arun Kumar Jain, office secretary at the BJP headquarters, said sweet makers were hired and brought to the party office canteen on Thursday night to prepare more than 2.5 tonnes of motichoor laddoos in anticipation of an election victory.
But Ashoka Road still placed more orders for laddoos and barfis with sweet shops.
“Besides, our supporters brought sweets from shops across the capital yesterday morning and we started distributing them. The celebrations are still on,” said Jain.
Another official estimated that the party headquarters had bought firecrackers worth at least Rs 15 lakh.
“The central leadership gave its consent, saying we could burst as many firecrackers as we wanted. After all, history is not made every day.”
Jain hoped the party would go on till the swearing-in, whose date hasn’t been decided. Sweets distribution, petal showers and exploding firecrackers marked Modi’s victory procession in Delhi today.
“The central leadership has given party workers and local unit heads a free hand in conducting the celebrations,” a senior BJP leader said.
“Many of them are on a shopping spree. Others are busy putting up Modiji’s hoardings across the city. Money is no constraint for the victory celebrations.”
“But let’s see how long it lasts,” Sanjeev, the florist, said. “Happy days, after all, are few and far between in the lives of the poor.”
Modi has promised to change that too by reviving India’s economy, alleviating poverty and creating jobs. Once the euphoria ends, he has his work cut out.