06:47 GMT17 January 2021
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    Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking a second five-year term in office. As the dates for the national election have been announced, the governing party is trying novel ways to conduct their election campaign and maintain visibility among Indian voters. Selling Modi-branded merchandise is one of them.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): In a bid to get a second term in office, the Indian prime minister's re-election initiative of selling personality-branded merchandise to connect with the Indian voters for the upcoming national elections has both amused as well as bemused netizens.

    The election engineering machine from PM Modi had undertaken the merchandise sale route to maintain visibility among voters so that the governing party may, all the while, keep well within the limits of the "code of conduct" prescribed by the Election Commission that is currently in force. The Indian national elections will take place in seven phases beginning in April and culminating in mid-May.

    Continuing with the ongoing thrust of the "Main Bhi Chowkidar" (I am a "watchman" too) campaign that he launched more than a week ago, the hashtag #MainBhiChowkidar is prominent in messaging and is sought to be disseminated through the merchandise from Narendra Modi's "shop".

    The NaMo (an acronym for Narendra Modi) branded merchandise range from t-shirts to fridge magnets to pens. These are being made available through online platforms and through the NaMo app created for both Android and iPhone platforms. The social media campaigning for the merchandise is being handled by the @namomerchandise twitter handle.

    The move, selling the prime minister’s personally branded merchandise has brought up several multi-dimensional reactions on social media.

    The denouncers have been many and vociferous.

    A prominent standup comedian, Kunal, satirically said that Modi will now be selling tickets for his election rallies through online event booking platform BookMyShow.

    Pratik Sinha, the founder of a media house that verifies facts on fake news, tweeted that Modi now needs to have a makeover from being a Chowkidar (meaning watchman) to becoming a "salesman".

    Not to miss a dig that a tweep took on the condition of the economy, the user said the "Economy is such that even PM is pulling a side-hustle!"

    Meanwhile, there are many takers for this merchandise. In fact, the sale has many periodic promotional campaigns.


    ​This is just awesome.



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    selling, voters, campaign, elections, Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), Narendra Modi, India
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