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'Clean' Karnataka poll is bad for business

April 28, 2008
A man stands outside the Congress office in Bangalore with a visiting card in his hand. As you pass by, he hands over the card and says, "Sir, please contact us in case you need to put up banners for your election campaign."

Arif from Bangalore Digital is one of the many trying to eke out a living from the forthcoming assembly elections in the state.

"In 2004, we earned Rs 30 lakh by the time the Karnataka elections got over. In fact, we were so busy that we worked through the nights. But this time, it is a completely different story. We have barely opened our account in Karnataka," he rues.

The decline in their once booming business can be attributed to the strict rules and regulations imposed by the Election Commission of India. The ECI, which wants a 'clean campaign', has made it clear that there shall be no banners on the roads this time.

Text: Vicky Nanjappa | Photograph: KPN Photos

Image: Then and Now: Buntings during the 2004 assembly elections and a bunting-free Bangalore in 2008.

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