The Bharatiya Janata Party may have been able to cash in on the ‘chaiwala’ background of its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, who is promising to bring down inflation if the party makes the next government, but in the Bhanjaru village in the remote Churrah valley of rural Chamba district, the ‘NaMo’ brand can prove to be quite costly.
At the same time, Rahul Gandhi, whose Congress party is considered synonymous with inflation, can prove to be more economical, especially if you are partaking of tea in a small shop in the village, which is the headquarters of the Tissa sub-division and lies near the Jammu and Kashmir border.
A board hung outside the wooden structure that houses Maan Singh’s tea shop shows the rates of various ‘brands’ of tea.
The most economical ‘Rahul tea’ is priced at Rs. 5, while a cup of ‘Modi tea’ costs Rs. 7. Arvind Kejriwal’s tea is in the middle, with a cup setting one back by Rs. 6.
Asked about the logic behind the pricing, Maan Singh expressed cluelessness, saying his father had hung the board.
However, opening up a few minutes later, but still hesitant, Singh told HT, “My father came up with this idea as he wanted to know the people’s idea on the political leaders.
Many people visit the shop to have a cup of tea and talk about their political leanings, which tells us where each party stands.”
“However, I cannot tell you the difference in the three brands, as their taste and quality are almost the same,” said Singh, adding that his father could explain the concept in better detail, but had gone away for some work.
About the prospects of the three parties in the region, Singh said the Congress and the BJP seemed to be poised equally, but the Aam Aadmi Party too had a considerable following.