Bhopal: The sale of election campaign materials has reduced by 70% due to restrictions of Election Commission as well as social media campaigning. Owner of Zain Enterprise, Malviya Nagar, Mohamed Fazil who has been selling election campaign materials for 45 years told Free Press, “If we compare last five years, there is no sale in it due to Election Commission’s restrictions and social media campaigning.
The business is down by 75%. We could hardly sale of 25 %.” He further said, “Election Commission has banned many things like we can’t use flags, posters and banners. For this, we have to take permission from Commission.
Also, candidates have to render their account in which mention that how much expenditures they have done. Nowadays, most people are campaigning on social media, which affected its ground level work. It has reduced a lot. All the advertisement went on social media.” “The situation is not only in Madhya Pradesh but also across county. We have business across country. And our head office is in Delhi. We come to Bhopal for three or four months during election,” Fazil added.
Similarly, owner of Sheela Ad-makers, Arera Colony, near BJP Office, Ajay Agrawal said,” Our work is propaganda and we can’t imagine election without flags and posters. So, it will be forever. But at the same time, it is also true that that the printing business has affected by 50% due to social media. Earlier the candidates had to depend on print to convey their messages among public but after coming social media, the option of print has ended. Now they can do direct messages”
“Earlier, candidate used to appeal public by printing their message on papers, but now it’s not so. They are doing so using social media like Facebook and WhatsApp to convey their messages to public,” Agrawal added. Krishna Rao, a shopkeeper at Agrawal Bandhu Shop, Malviya Nagar, said, “Yes, its sale is affected by 50% due to social media and new rule and regulations made by Election Commission for candidates. Our sale is 15 days. It started after declaring the names of candidates. Lekin abhi to bilkul sannata pada hua hai.”