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Traders of party flags, festoons hit

Syed Muthahar Saqaf


Delay by major parties in finalising partners, constituencies cited as cause




Long wait: A shopkeeper displaying flags of various political parties, which are for sale at Allimal Street in Tiruchi.

TIRUCHI: Inordinate delay on the part of the two major Dravidian alliance leaders in finalising partners, constituencies and candidates has hit traders involved in selling party flags and festoons in the district.

Only three days are left for the commencement of filing of nominations and the traders have not received orders yet.

Usually, elections bring a windfall for traders running shops selling party flags, banners and festoons. They stock the materials in advance to meet the demand during the campaign period.

This time, however, the decision of the Election Commission to advance the Assembly elections to mid-April caught political parties unawares. Parties were so preoccupied with allotting seats to partners that they have not yet ordered banners and festoons with flags and portraits.

While the DMK finalised its partners a few days ago, the AIADMK is yet to decide on the MDMK.

The traders' direct customers, the candidates, have not been finalised. “This is a peculiar situation, which the traders have not witnessed in any elections so far. Still we are not sure when the constituencies and the candidates will be finalised. Surely, the situation is not to our liking,” says R. M. Shanmugam of Ambal Paper Mart on Allimal street in the city.

Execution of the orders for preparation of cloth flags, cloth banners, badges and so on displaying the portraits of the leaders of fraternal parties will take at least a few days. Orders have to be placed with the wholesale dealers in Chennai, Tirupur and Sivakasi. It is already late and the traders are waiting with their fingers crossed, says Mr. Shanmugam, who has been in this trade for over three decades.

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