Politicians shy away from putting up banners, as they are objects of easy notice which can be counted for poll expenditure by the Election Commission

Flexi and banner makers in the city are a disappointed lot, thanks to lack of business this poll season. Though there is no ban on use of flexies, politicians are shying away from putting up banners, as they are objects of easy notice which can be counted for poll expenditure by the Election Commission.

The political parties, instead, were investing on pamphlets and other publicity material that are not obviously visible. There are about 70 shops in the city that make banners and flexies. A ballpark figure shows that each shop makes not less than 1,000 sq. feet of banners during lean period. It touches 2,500 sq. feet during season. It is usually over 6,000 sq. feet during poll season. The traders aggrieve that it could be a loss of Rs. 30,000 and Rs. 50,000 for each flexi maker this election season.

“Our business is badly hit. No one is coming to our shops because of poll restrictions,” says N. Srikanth of Star Digitals here. The politicians were hesitant to put flexi boards fearing the election code, he adds.

“The Election Commission’s restrictions poured cold water on our dreams. We expected a good business if not roaring. The politicians used to order tens of flexis and banners in the elections. This year, we haven’t opened account so far,” he says.

“Some flexi makers in Gandhi Nagar have decided not take orders. It would be a Herculean task to get the bills cleared. More so, we have to draw unnecessary attention of officials. Instead, we could concentrate regular business,” Srikanth adds.

The elections are likely to pass off as a simple affair without any cut-outs, hoardings and banners at public places. There are no bookings and future orders for preparing banners and posters, says Vijayakrishna, another shopkeeper in Gandhi Nagar.

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