Varanasi: Police today asked a 'dhaba' selling rotis with 'NaMo' mark to shut shop after complaints from certain groups, to which BJP said that the "Modi stamp" on the people's hearts can't be removed.
"Police can stop Modi stamp on rotis, but they can't remove the stamp that our Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has left on hearts of people of Varanasi," senior BJP leader Amit Shah said.
Senior BJP leader Amit Shah. File Pic
Shah, considered to be very close to Modi and is camping here for Lok Sabha campaigning, was replying to reporters' query about police action against an eatery selling rotis imprinted with NaMo -- the initials for Narendra Modi -- and slogans like 'Abki Baar Modi Sarkaar'. Senior police officers said that the action was taken after complaints from general public and even some political leaders for such "vieled election campaigning".
The dhaba owner refused to comment on the police action, saying he has been asked not to speak on this matter. The poll fever in this holy town has entered totally uncharted territories of rotis, laddoos, balloons, bricks and jackets, as BJP supporters are placing mass orders of many products with 'NaMo' mark while makers of these items are happily reciprocating to cash on these "electoral gains".
This dhaba was putting the 'NaMo' mark and BJP symbol Lotus on rotis made for their customers, although there were also been instances when customers have refused to eat there after being served these items.
Taking a cue from Western countries, including the US Presidential election, election merchandising has emerged as a major trend in the ongoing elections.
Aam Aadmi Party has also tried to make use of various merchandise such as caps, t-shirts and their election symbol 'broom', while it has now also put Urdu slogans on its caps -- apparently to garner more votes from Muslim community which accounts for over three lakh voters.
Varanasi has over 16 lakh voters and it goes to polls on May 12, while campaign will end tomorrow. AAP's Kejriwal held a massive roadshow today where minority community was seen in large numbers. Makers and sellers of many election linked merchandise say that they began doing so after huge orders were placed with them by supporters of AAP and BJP.
A senior Congress leader charged that the markets are being flooded with such products to create a "forced" wave, while similar charges were made by many others from other opposition parties. Besides Modi and Kejriwal, Congress' Ajay Rai is also in fray in this Lok Sabha seat.