Atal, Advani books sell like hot cakes - at BJP officeNovember 18th, 2008 - 2:44 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Nov 18 (IANS) With general elections that could catapult L.K. Advani to India’s top seat only months away, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stalwart’s autobiography is doing roaring business at a small book store at the party headquarters here.And with assembly elections in Delhi and three BJP-ruled states now under way, the couple of assistants in charge of the badly kept shop are a busy lot, constantly handing out Advani’s “My Country, My Life” and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s numerous books to admiring buyers.
In normal days, the bookstore doesn’t do this good business — or so say some.
“We are selling roughly about 150 copies each of Advani’s autobiography and Atalji’s books every day,” said Mukhesh Kumar, a shop assistant and a party activist.
Asked whose books sold more, Kumar gave a cautious reply: “Both are doing equally well. Though I don’t count, the sale figures are almost the same for both leaders.”
For now, the already crammed bookstore has turned chaotic with huge piles of election posters, badges, watches, scarves, key rings, clocks, cloth banners, picture postcards, audio cassettes and flags taking up a lot of space.
The prices range from just Rs.2.50 for a plastic badge — all the way to Rs.350.
There are also huge portraits of Advani and Vajpayee as well as of BJP president Rajnath Singh, who however appears to be a poor cousin to the former two for an overwhelming majority of the visitors.
Although Vajpayee has been the most famous face of the BJP in recent years, for being the first non-Congress politician to rule India for five years, many visitors are going for election material related to Advani, the man who could well be prime minister if a BJP-led government were to take office after general elections due early next year.
Interestingly, the bookstore is selling only one book of Advani, his autobiography, whereas there are many books by Vajpayee. “My Country, My Life” costs Rs.500 in English — and Rs.100 more in Hindi.
And these are discounted prices.
Vajpayee’s works include “Twenty One Poems”, “Kya Khoya Kya Paya”, “Kuchh Lekh, Kuch Bhashan” and “Gatbandhan ki Rajniti”. The prices range from Rs.125 to Rs.475.
Another bestseller is the BJP constitution, priced at a meagre Rs. 5. The buyers are clearly those who are new to the party and want to learn in detail about its functioning.
The directory of BJP leaders and their phone numbers is also selling well. At Rs. 30, it is sought by one and all.
Organiser, the mouthpiece of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), also sees brisk sales.
Election campaign material too is in demand.
Sandeep Singh, who had come from Rajasthan, told IANS at the shop: “I am buying material worth Rs 50,000 now. One needs a lot of this for canvassing. I’ll buy more later.”
When this reporter was talking to the shopkeeper, a young man asked for 10 portraits of Advani and also Vajpayee’s.
But he suddenly changed his mind again and sought party president Rajnath Singh’s posters instead.
Told that they were not available, he opted for Vajpayee portraits.