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HindustanTimes Wed,24 Sep 2014

Modi to cash in on chaiwala jibe, will visit tea stalls

PTI  New Delhi, February 12, 2014
First Published: 09:35 IST(12/2/2014) | Last Updated: 14:33 IST(13/2/2014)

In a bid to cash in on the 'chaiwala' jibe, BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will try to connect with the common people over a cup of tea under the party's ambitious 'Chai pe charcha with NaMO' campaign beginning from Wednesday.

Under the drive, Modi will visit a tea stall and interact with common people over the brew through DTH, satellite service and social media.

Read: At dinner for MPs, Modi says connect with people over chai

The programme will be relayed at 1,000 tea stall locations identified by BJP in 300 cities across the country, including 61 locations in 22 cities and towns in Gujarat, via video conferencing.

"Of these 1,000 locations, direct interaction will take place with people from 30 locations in which people can share, ask and and suggest their views on the ongoing election campaign," BJP spokesperson Harshad Patel said.

The subject for Wednesday's "Chai pe charcha" is good governance.

Read: BJP to raise storm in teacups in 300 cities

BJP managers term it as an out-of-the-box initiative, especially against the backdrop of the way electoral campaigning is traditionally conducted by political parties.

The campaign strategy stems from Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar's remark on humble beginnings of Modi as a tea vendor.

Turning the taunt to Modi's advantage, BJP poll managers have decided to use Modi's background to reach out to the maximum number of voters by inviting them to talk to the leader as part of the initiative.

When he was young, Modi used to help his father sell tea at Vadnagar railway station and also on trains.

Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal had earlier made similar remarks against Modi, saying a person who used to sell tea cannot have a national perspective.

In a bid to temper the damage caused by Aiyer's remark, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi recently said "every tea-seller, every labourer should be respected, but he who makes fool of people should not be respected".

Read: Modi can't be PM, can sell tea: Mani Shankar Aiyar

Full Coverage: All about narendra Modi


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