While IT major Infosys predicts a drop in profits for the coming year the shoe-barons were last heard to be laughing their way to the banks.
Reason : People are flocking to their outlets, seeking the latest in "deep-impact" sneakers and aerodynamically designed chappals to greet their netas with, first thing in the morning. Brands like 'Sree-leaders' and 'Hurl-puppies' are turning out to be the biggest gainers in this segment while activists under the banner of "Nanga-Payr Susth Prashashan Manch" get more vocal with popular backing burgeoning.
Effect : More and more small-time netas are being accused of clandestinely distributing cheap sandals to their supporters before the start of rallies where they are being instructed to hit the podium from various angles and at equal intervals between their "hate speeches"- readily transforming them to "hit speeches" - getting day-long TV coverage and political mileage for free. The add-on includes being catapulted to the status of figures like George Bush, Ahmadinejad, Wen Jiabao and now L.K Advani with a single sling of footwear. Speculations are rife within political circles that the leader with the most number "hits" at the end of the campaigning might stake his/her claim to the PM's post on the basis of popularity. Amar Singh has stoked fears with his,"Negative publicity is also publicity" remark in the mould of the redoubtable Rakhi Sawant and the ever "resourceful" Mallika Sherawat. The Congress is agitated now that the BJP seems determined to field Narendra Modi from at least 10 Muslim-dominated Lok Sabha constituencies following recent developments. Their possible ploy of fielding both Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler from Punjab is being hailed as a masterful counter-move by supporters and detractors alike. On the other hand the CPI(M) politburo has expressed concern that several of the Trinamool MLAs were spotted in queues outside prominent shoe-stores at Lindsay Street in Kolkata. The Speaker of the West Bengal Assembly has promptly issued a directive to all members of the House - "to be divested of all footwear and other associated instruments of protest before entering the Assembly Hall" to which Mamata Banerjee has responded with her characteristic ferocity. The TMC plans to launch its "Khali Paaye Khali Gaaye Andolon" (Naked Feet Naked Torso Agitation) for an indefinite period of time before the directive is revoked and fair chance is given to all MLAs in taking aim at their opposite numbers inside the Assembly. A petition bearing the signature of 60 MLAs has already been forwarded to the Governor in this regard.
Side-effects : The Election Commission is contemplating a blanket-ban on shoes during elections.
Anbumani Ramadoss has promised to ban shoes if he is returned to the Lok Sabha.
Nike and Adidas has cut-down prices drastically to come "within reach" of the common man.
The family members of Partha Pratim Ray Burman are having sleepless nights now that their stocks have started to go through the roof and the Dubai-bhais have all started calling again.
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