Pune: With the elections round the corner, there are various campaigns on by the Election Commission to encourage people to cast their vote.
Taking cue, various city-based merchants and entrepreneurs have started offering discounts to people who cast their vote.
Owner of Royal Cars Praful Kothari, who rents car and buses in Somwar Peth, said, “During the last elections, I came to know that some of my clients utilised the holiday they got for polls for an outstation trip. This time, I wanted to encourage them to vote. Hence I have put a board at the reception counter which promises people 10 per cent discount for rental bookings made from April 17 to 20.”
Owner of a furniture emporium in Camp Modern Aartz Furniture Manjett Virddi Singh said, “We have offered 20 per cent discount and free home delivery on goods for people who cast their vote.”
Restaurant and Hotelier’s Association is also planning to give discounts on eatery outlets. Ganesh Shetty, president of the Association said, “We are planning to offer some discounts. We will be holding a meeting in his regard soon.”
Narayan Peth Jayesh Kasat who owns Niranjan Medico has also put up banners declaring 5 per cent discount on April 17 to voters. Kasat said, “I was discussing ways to encourage people to vote with my friends. That's where we decided to offer discounts to lure voters.”
Nitin Shah of Rajyog Textiles on Laxmi Road said, “Kasat inspired me. And hence I too have decided to put up a board offering 10 per cent discount at my garment store.”
Vivek Madan, partner in Champion Sports, said, “Now a days, freedom and democracy is misinterpreted by youth. We have decided to give 10 per cent discount at all our outlets in the city.”
Suresh Oswal, owner of Mahavir Electronics and Furniture located in Bibvewadi, said that he has announced 5 to 15%.
Meanwhile, the Pune Election Commission has requested mall owners to announce discounts exclusively for voters with an ink mark on their finger.
Deputy election officer Apurva Wankhede said, “EC has instructed us to tie up with the local shopping malls and requested them to announce discounts to people who cast their vote on April 17. Accordingly, we are going to send letters to PMC, PCMC and Cantonment Boards to have a dialogue with mall managers in their jurisdiction.”
When dna contacted some of city based mall officials, they said, “We have to confirm with their respective head offices regarding the discounts as such a decision cannot be taken at the local level.”