Flower power drives election campaign

Visakhapatnam: With the elections approaching, the demand for flowers seems to have increase manifold. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has booked its favourite— yellow coloured marigold from various flower markets including Kadiyam in East Godavari and even from Kolkata, West Bengal.
On the other hand, YSR Congress (YSRC) politicians prefer white and blue coloured flowers, according to flower merchants.
TDP vice president, Visakhapatnam city, Pothana Reddy said, “The contestants of all seven assembly and one Lok Sabha segment in Visakhapatnam city have already booked over one tonne of yellow colored marigold for their political campaign till April 9.”

Speaking to TOI, flower farmer and merchant S Raju, who runs a flower shop at MVP Rythu Bazar said that yellow marigold (Bantipulu in Telugu) has emerged as the flower with the highest demand flower in the market due to the elections.

Raju said that one kilogram of yellow marigold is priced between Rs 70-100 per kg in the city as local varieties are available here. The price of same flower will cost somewhere between Rs 160-200 per kg in the open market within the next one week. Thereafter, politicians will have to depend on Kolkata merchants for the yellow marigold.


“Two lorries have been specially designed to procure flowers from Kolkata. Earlier, we used to procure the flowers by trains. Orange coloured marigold was the second alternative if the yellow marigold was unavailable,” Raju added.
Estate officer of MVP Rythu Bazar, T Lingamurthy said that the farmers are unable to bring a large quantity of marigold flowers to the market as the flowers were being diverted to the open market due to increased demand. Anandapuram, Padmanabham, Kovvada, Anantavaram and Pandrangi are among the flower production areas in the city outskirts.
Speaking to TOI, G Gemini, a flower farmer at Kadiyam, the state’s popular flower market, said that there is high demand for flowers in April and May owing to marriages. “This time, the elections have caused a further increase in demand”, he said.
“Politicians from other states like Telangana and Odisha have also started booking for flowers. Marigold and Chrysanthemums seem to be the favourite flowers of politicians,” said K Srihari, a wholesale flower trader at Rajahmundry.

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