Rajkot: Adding a political and patriotic colour to Diwali, firecrackers named after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and India’s recently acquired fighter jets Rafael have hit local markets in Gujarat’s Rajkot. Also Read - Does Haryana Need Lockdown? Read Deputy CM's Latest Statement

While the Rafael sky shots and Modi bomb are bringing in the much-needed demand the shop owners are looking for, the business is still not on par with the preceding years. Also Read - Hidden Real Hero! This Anganwadi Worker Rows 18 km Daily to Attend to Tribal Children, Expecting Mothers in Interior Villages

“Every business sector is facing problems due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The government is bringing in new guidelines which is adversely affecting the businesses. The government has said not to burst crackers after 10 pm. This may prevent people from buying more firecrackers,” said Aakash, a firecracker shopowner in Rajkot said on Monday. Also Read - Explained | Can India Afford Another Lockdown?

Firecracker merchants in the city believe that the people will buy fewer firecrackers due to the government order on not bursting firecrackers between 10 pm and 6 am.

“The economic impact of the pandemic has also affected the buyers and they are also avoiding spending much of firecrackers this Diwali. Our profit margin has also reduced on firecrackers,” Aakash said. He further said that manufacturers have also launched firecrackers named after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rafale but even they are unable to attract enough buyers.

Another shopowner in the area, Chetanbhai, said that no Chinese firecrackers have been imported this year due to the ongoing border tension with the neighbouring country.

“Most of the firecrackers being sold this year were made in India,” he said. Diwali, popularly called the festival of lights, is celebrated with lighting earthen lamps and bursting crackers. This year, the festival will be celebrated on November 14.