The Telegraph
Tuesday , March 11 , 2014
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Modi, Nitish engage in Holi battle

- Colour sprinklers named after politicians flood markets this festival

In election year even Holi is going the political way.

Pichkaris (colour sprinklers) named after politicians have flooded the market and some are selling like hot cakes. Everybody seems to want a bit of Modi in their pichkari.

Kids have started flocking the market along with their parents to purchase them. In earlier years, manufacturers had come up with pichkaris in the shape of cartoon characters like Mickey and Donald, but this year they decided to test political waters of a kind.

And their experiment has clicked. Fancy and attractive pichkaris bearing photos of politicians are in great demand, specially saffron-coloured ones bearing BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s photo and the party symbol. On the other hand, pichkaris named after Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad have few takers.

Pichkaris named after politicians bring good business during elections. However, this time there is wave in favour of Narendra Modi so we decided to sell them in his name. Not just BJP supporters and workers, even common people are purchasing it. Pichkaris named after Bollywood celebrities and cricketers are common, but this time Modi pichkaris are doing wonders for us,” said Ravi Kant, a shopowner in Maccharhatta locality of Patna City.

He further said: “A year ago pichkaris named after Nitish Kumar were doing brisk business but this year it is Modi pichkari all the way despite the high price. Modi pichkaris are priced at Rs 200, Nitish pichkaris cost Rs 100.”

The pichkaris come in the shape of a gun and cylinder and cost anything from Rs 20 to Rs 200. “Every year we give something new to the buyers. Pichkaris in the shape of cartoon characters like Mickey and Donald were a hit with children earlier, but this time we realised the Modi pichkari will be much sought after,” said Mehtab Alam, a shopowner in Paschim Darwaja locality of Patna City.

More interestingly, simple pichkaris in the shapes of pistols have undergone a great change. Bigger ones shaped like hi-tech weapons with flashing lights have replaced them. The new version of pichkaris are more powerful than the earlier ones. They look bulky, especially the bazooka-shaped ones, their nozzles are shaped such that they spray coloured water with force. And the best part is their tanks can store 3 to 4 litres of water.

Pichkaris named after Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal have no takers in the market. “Nobody is asking for Rahul and Kejriwal pichkaris. Modi remains the most sought after,” said Suresh Kumar, a shopowner in the Chowk area.

Buyers, too, were happy about purchasing pichkaris named after Modi. “The reason behind purchasing Modi pichkaris is his popularity and charismatic personality. You must see how my 12-year-old son just picked up a Modi pichkari. I did not ask him to pick any particular pichkari. He picked it up of his own wish. It proves that no other leader matches up to him,”said Suresh Sinha, a Patna City resident.

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