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In Pictures: Sweet side of Indian polls
Confectioners in Indian city of Kolkata make a killing by selling uniquely-designed nirbachoni mishti or poll sweets.
Last updated: 01 May 2014 12:42
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For decades, confectioners in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata have been making sweets, locally known as mishti, to cater to the sweet-obsessed people of West Bengal state.

Amid the ongoing parliamentary elections, some confectioneries in the city have used the occasion to develop some uniquely-designed nirbachoni mishti or poll sweets.

The nirbachoni mishti seems to have added a novel "sweet touch" to the exchange of greetings among politicians and their supporters during the campaigning.

The sweets are specially designed sondesh, another Bengali dessert, with different political party symbols embossed on them.

For example, the Congress party mishti carries a pure-white palm, while the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party's brightly coloured saffron and green lotus symbol adorns the sweets. The red hammer, sickle and a star representing the Communist Party of India (Marxist), which ruled the state for more than three decades, is also in the race to be confectioner's choice.

But the mishti sellers say that the most popular sweets are the one bearing the symbol of the ruling Trinamool Congress party - two flowers planted firmly in a patch of grass.

Confectioner Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick (BMRM) has also designed the "Victory Sondesh" with the Bengali phrase "Joyee Hao" or "Be Victorious" iced on the top.

"We make special sweets linking them to many major festivals," Sudip Mullick, owner of BMRM told Al Jazeera. "With all frenzy surrounding it, this general election is also seen by many as a big national festival. So, we hit upon the idea to launch these nirbachoni mishtis now."

"Since they are selling well among the supporters of different political parties and even our regular customers, we are happy," he added.


/Shaikh Azizur Rahman/Al Jazeera

The main outlet of Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick in Kolkata where they sell "nirbachoni mishti" or poll sweets.



/Shaikh Azizur Rahman/Al Jazeera

In the kitchen, workers first cook and mash cottage cheese with sugar and other flavouring ingredients to make it suitable for making the special sondesh, a popular Bengali dessert.†



/Shaikh Azizur Rahman/Al Jazeera

A worker uses wooden moulds with party symbols engraved to design the sweets. † †



/Shaikh Azizur Rahman/Al Jazeera

Using "permissible edible" (in the words of the confectioner) food colouring, a worker paints over the sweets.



/Shaikh Azizur Rahman/Al Jazeera

Some delicacies at the shops are even named after popular political leaders.†



/Shaikh Azizur Rahman/Al Jazeera

Nirbachoni mishti for different political parties on display at a Kolkata sweet shop.



/Shaikh Azizur Rahman/Al Jazeera

A supporter of the West Bengalís ruling political party, Trinamool Congress, buys a mishti with the party's political symbol, along with a victory sondesh.



/Shaikh Azizur Rahman/Al Jazeera

A supporter of the ruling party says that he plans to present it to the party candidate.



/Shaikh Azizur Rahman/Al Jazeera

A woman who supports the BJP buys a sweet representing the party symbol. "I have bought this nirbachoni sondesh just to display that I love the BJP and am going to vote for the party this time," she said.



/Shaikh Azizur Rahman/Al Jazeera

Apart from sweets, Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick is also selling "NaMo Tea Mousse," named after the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, during elections.



/Shaikh Azizur Rahman/Al Jazeera

The Kolkata confectioner is also selling a special Bengali dessert made from rice and milk called "Didi," another name for the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.




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images:
/mritems/images/2014/4/23/2014423194113319534_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/23/2014423194111538866_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/23/2014423194111741225_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/23/201442319411238326_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/23/2014423194112210259_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/23/2014423194112397414_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/23/2014423194112522718_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/23/2014423194112663817_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/23/2014423194112804742_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/23/2014423194112944739_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/23/201442319411385729_8.jpg
captions:

The main outlet of Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick in Kolkata where they sell "nirbachoni mishti" or poll sweets.

;*;

In the kitchen, workers first cook and mash cottage cheese with sugar and other flavouring ingredients to make it suitable for making the special sondesh, a popular Bengali dessert.†

;*;

A worker uses wooden moulds with party symbols engraved to design the sweets. † †

;*;

Using "permissible edible" (in the words of the confectioner) food colouring, a worker paints over the sweets.

;*;

Some delicacies at the shops are even named after popular political leaders.†

;*;

Nirbachoni mishti for different political parties on display at a Kolkata sweet shop.

;*;

A supporter of the West Bengalís ruling political party, Trinamool Congress, buys a mishti with the party(***)s political symbol, along with a victory sondesh.

;*;

A supporter of the ruling party says that he plans to present it to the party candidate.

;*;

A woman who supports the BJP buys a sweet representing the party symbol. "I have bought this nirbachoni sondesh just to display that I love the BJP and am going to vote for the party this time," she said.

;*;

Apart from sweets, Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick is also selling "NaMo Tea Mousse," named after the BJP(***)s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, during elections.

;*;

The Kolkata confectioner is also selling a special Bengali dessert made from rice and milk called "Didi," another name for the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Daylife ID:
26ccc8a13753604695669af9aaf5ff59
Photographer:
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Image Source:
Shaikh Azizur Rahman/Al Jazeera;*;Shaikh Azizur Rahman/Al Jazeera;*;Shaikh Azizur Rahman/Al Jazeera;*;Shaikh Azizur Rahman/Al Jazeera;*;Shaikh Azizur Rahman/Al Jazeera;*;Shaikh Azizur Rahman/Al Jazeera;*;Shaikh Azizur Rahman/Al Jazeera;*;Shaikh Azizur Rahman/Al Jazeera;*;Shaikh Azizur Rahman/Al Jazeera;*;Shaikh Azizur Rahman/Al Jazeera;*;Shaikh Azizur Rahman/Al Jazeera;*;Shaikh Azizur Rahman/Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
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