Diwali celebrations in Himachal Pradesh is likely to be a low-key affair as shopping activities has come down for the second year in a row due to inflation, which has hit most sections in the hill state .
This time though, inflation has been coupled with election fatigue as the state went to the polls earlier this month and results will be declared after a long wait on December 20 .
As there is the possibility of a major overhaul in the government irrespective of whoever wins, many are not really sure if they should spoil the top politicians and bureaucrats with annual Diwali gifts.
Even though most of the middle class here consists of government employees getting regular salaries and allowances, the buzz is still missing from the markets this season.
“For the last two years, Diwali shoppers have definitely been fewer than previous years,”said Ramesh Sood, president of the Shimla beopar mandal.
Customers blame the rapid price rise of gift items, dry fruits, electronic goods, firecrackers and sweets. Absence of not attractive-enough discount offers this time has also dampened the consumers’ spirit.