The battle between BJP's PM candidate Narendra Modi and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal is not just confined to Varanasi, but is also being played out in the cyber world, where demand for merchandise of the two leaders has seen a sharp rise in the past few weeks.
As the election fever spreads across the country, demand for poll-related memorabilia, including T-shits, mugs, clocks & watches, mobile covers, posters, wall-hangings, among others, has gone up significantly on online platforms. Kejriwal is taking on Modi in Varanasi, being billed as the most important battle of General Elections 2014, where voting will take place on May 12.
Interestingly, most of such merchandise are being sold at huge discounts though one does not know who is making up for the under-pricing. Some portals hawking these products say they are supplied by local manufacturers.
According to retail industry observers, paying for political merchandise is a new marketing genre in India.
According to Bluegape.com, Modi merchandise has seen a significant growth in Hyderabad and Mumbai with around 8,360 and 5,869 users (out of 10,000 in each city) respectively, buying merchandise of NaMo (as he is addressed by his fans).
The Kejriwal merchandise, on the other hand, has seen a good demand in Bangalore and Delhi, with 6,346 and 7,165 users (out of 10,000 in each city), respectively.
"Today the youth want to express their loyalties to their popular icons and that sentiment finds way even into poll- related merchandise.
"We are getting a good response from customers as they are conscious of their right to vote and want to demonstrate their support to the party or candidate of their choice," ShopClues.com Chief Executive Sanjay Sethi told PTI.
Besides ShopClues and Bluegape, portals like Flipkart, Amazon, SnapDeal and eBay, too, are selling such merchandise.