Election Business

Updated: Apr 28 2004, 05:30am hrs
The Capitals famous Lajpat Nagar market, renowned for junk, jewellery and clothes, has plonked itself squarely into the political propaganda quagmire. While the market distinguishes itself by catering to everyone from Mumbais designers to Delhis poor, shopkeepers seem to have finally sliced themselves a bit of the political pie.

One shop, a bakery, now makes cakes and pastries in the shape of BJPs lotus and the Congress hand. That would seem normal. But further down, theres a shop selling T-shirts with Atalji emblazoned on them. Further down, theres a shop which sells buckets, and eavesdropper noticed the lotus or the hand embossed on numerous plastic paraphernalia. Even umbrellas, retailing now for the monsoon, have the bright orange or flag colours.

The owner of a store there says: This is a highly politicised part of the city. People here take very serious interest in politics. These items are very fast moving. They will be all gone by the time the elections are through. Are these party rejects No, he says. Lajpat Nagar is a democracy by itself.

For roosting pigeons, there is nothing sweeter than home sweet home. Two high profile CII old guards YS Rajan and Jayant Bhuyan, who left the CII some time back, have returned to the fold as principal advisor and deputy director general respectively.

Mr Rajan, a close friend of President APJ Abdul Kalam, was senior advisor (technology), CII from September 1996 to March 11, 2000 before becoming scientific secretary to the principal scientific advisor to government of India. Mr Bhuyan, who served CII for over two decades in various capacities, left to join rival chamber ASSOCHAM as its executive head for four years before coming back to CII.