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HindustanTimes Mon,24 Nov 2014

Tea seller cannot become prime minister, SP leader's dig at Narendra Modi

PTI  Hardoi, UP, November 13, 2013
First Published: 21:14 IST(13/11/2013) | Last Updated: 22:14 IST(13/11/2013)

In an apparent dig at BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal on Wednesday said that a person who used to sell tea cannot have a national perspective.

"Narendra Modi wants to become a PM. Someone rising from a tea shop can never have a national perspective. Like, if you make a 'sipahi' (constable) as 'kaptan' (Superintendent of Police), he can never have SP's approach but will have that of a constable," Agarwal said in comments that could stoke a controversy.

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Addressing a gathering in Hardoi, Agarwal also said the prime minister of a country has to be an able person of national stature.

"As far as crowd is concerned, a 'madari' (street performer) also gathers it," he said taking a swipe at BJP.

Agarwal, who launched a scathing attack on Modi, has also previously targeted the BJP leader with some controversial comments.

At his rallies, Modi often refers to his own socio-economic background and humble origins while targeting the Gandhi-Nehru family, saying people who are ruling at the Centre "don't know what poverty is all about, but I know it."      

"I was born in a poor family, and have seen and lived in poverty.

"I have sold tea at the railway station and in running trains ...those selling tea in trains know more about railways than the minister," the Gujarat Chief Minister said at a recent rally in Patna.

When he was six years old, Modi helped his father sell tea to passengers whenever an odd train came into the small Vadnagar station in Gujarat, according to a  book titled "The anatomy of Narendra Modi--the man and his politics" authored by Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay.

Agarwal last month also courted controversy after he compared BJP to a 'widow' and had said that Modi's thoughts were like a CM and not a PM.

"There is a saying in my village that if you ask a widow's blessings, she will ask you to become like her. The BJP too is asking everyone to become like them. Modi's thoughts are limited as he is a CM of small state," Agarwal had said.

The BJP had slammed Agarwal for these comments calling it highly derogatory.

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