Zee Media Bureau
Varanasi: The Uttar Pradesh police have shut down a hotel serving rotis with `NaMo` mark on them here.
According to a report, the machine used to imprint the mark suggesting BJP party`s slogan `Ab ki Bar Modi Sarkaar` on rotis has also been sealed. The owner of the hotel has reportedly been told not to communicate with media.
The report comes a day after thousands of BJP activists protested here and in New Delhi against the poll panel`s initial curbs on rallies by the party`s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi even as he got a warm welcome on his visit here with crowds thronging the routes he travelled.
The poll fever in this holy town is really high and the step taken by authorities can trigger a controversy. On microblogging website Twitter, some have denounced the step, saying it is shameful on the part of the Samajwadi Party, which is at the helm of affairs in Uttar Pradesh.
BJP supporters are placing mass orders of many products with `NaMo` mark on it while makers of these items are happily reciprocating to cash in on these `electoral gains`.
Taking a cue from Western countries, including the US Presidential Election, election merchandising has emerged as a major trend in the ongoing elections.
While Aam Aadmi Party has also tried to make use of various merchandise such as caps, T-shirts and their election symbol `broom`, it is the supporters of BJP and Modi who have taken a big lead on this front.
As a result, a number of products in markets here are being sold with the `NaMo` -- now famous initials for Narendra Modi -- mark, ranging from bricks to balloons to laddoos to jackets and other merchandise.
Makers and sellers of many of these products said that they began doing so after huge orders were placed with them by BJP supporters, while some neutral customers are also joining in to be part of the trend.
When contacted, BJP leaders said this has nothing to do with the official party campaigning programme, but some enthusiastic supporters might have come out with such innovative ideas.
Besides Modi, AAP`s Arvind Kejriwal and Congress`s Ajay Rai are also in the fray in this Lok Sabha seat which has over 16 lakh voters spread across five Assembly constituencies.
(With PTI inputs)