Vrindavan beggars make hay while Delhi elections shine

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New Delhi, Nov 21 (UNI) Political leaders may be sweating it out while barnstorming ahead of the Delhi Assembly elections, but some 80 km away in Vrindavan alms-seekers have found a reason to smile.

And reasonably so.

It's been a very old tradition during election time that candidates of political parties are weighed against coins by their supporters when they go out soliciting votes ahead of the elections.

And the Delhi elections are no different.

Here also, party activists pay their ''respect'' to their candidates and weigh them against coins or laddoos(sweetmeat).

But along comes a problem of a shortage of coins as hordes of supporters in order to please their ''netaji'' fall over each other to acquire change.

This shortage of copper has beggars in Vrindavan smiling from ear to ear as they assume the role of ''wholesale suppliers'' of coins to leaders during election time.

''A leader on average takes around 4,000 coins to be weighed against him and there is not enough change to take the tradition forward. So, during elections all roads lead to Vrindavan where there is change in galore as the place has hordes of beggars because people during the entire year go there for a pilgrimage of Govardhan,'' Jai Bhan, who deals in soiled and torn notes in Green Park in south Delhi, told UNI.

Generally, cadgers' ''exchange rate'' is 85 one rupee coins for Rs 100. But this rate skyrockets during election time as they give only 75 coins for Rs 100, Bhan added.

''These days they are charging Rs 7,000 for 4,000 one rupee coins, which on average a single person needs, and raking in moolah hand over fist. They are doing brisk business and they have no reason to complain,'' he concluded.

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