The vital statistics of trademark Narendra Modi style kurta – with half sleeves, buttoned up standing collar – has not changed since 2002. The waist line remains at 41 inch and so have the belly (45 inch), chest (44 inch) and shoulder (8.5 inch).
This was the last time the measurements were taken by Dahod-based Sangam Tailors, with whom Modi has been getting his kurtas stitched since 1974. He still sticks to same measurements.
"He last visited our shop on October 20, 2002, to pay his condolence to our late brother, Amrit Lal Chauhan, a close friend of Modi since his RSS pracharak days," said Kanahiya Ji Chauhan (71). Kanahiya along with his son Dharmendra, ensures that Modi gets his kurtas, as when required.
Modi, himself during a public meeting at Dahod in 2012, had clarified that he was getting his kurtas stitched from Sangam tailor, a video, which Dharmendra still proudly possess.
Situated in congested M C Road of Dahod, this dingy two-room tailoring shop since 1964 is all geared for the D-day.
Sangam tailor proprietor Kanahiya Ji Chouhan (71), who still stitches Narendra Modi’s kurta in Dahod,Gujarat. (HT photo/Amit K Jaiswal)
"It was my elder brother, late Amrit Lal ji, who designed his half sleeved kurtas. As a RSS pracharak, he used to move on cycles, and my brother suggested this style to beat the heat," recalled the younger Chauhan. Modi’s half sleeves measures exactly 10 inches even today. The tailoring shop has designed a full-sleeve kurta keeping "Delhi winter cold in mind."
Dharmendra (41), who joined his father’s profession at the age of 16, informs that Modiji has started wearing coloured kurtas only three years back.
"We also guide him for colours. Otherwise his favourite colour is white and kesaria with white churidar pyajama. We never charge any stitching cost from him or any RSS pracharak but the clothes are brought by him," he said.
It is not that Modi get his kurtas stitched at Sangam tailors. "The pant that he wears is always without loop and half belt. Earlier he used to wear button pants but has now opted for zip," said Dharmendra.
The cost of stitching Modi-style kurta today is Rs 600 at Sangam tailors and demand is increasing day-by-day.
"At the most, we stitch three such kurtas a day," said Kanahiya Ji. Even the BJP candidate from Dahod, Jaswal Singh Dhagor, a minister in Modi cabinet in state, has ordered three Modi style half sleeve kurtas for nomination filing day – orange, white and purple – and a white Jawahar jacket.
It is not that only BJP and RSS men get their kurtas stitched at Sangam tailors but Congress men also approach him but not for NaMo kurtas.