Modi canteen contractor, not chaiwala: Ahmed Patel | india | Hindustan Times
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Modi canteen contractor, not chaiwala: Ahmed Patel

india Updated: Feb 16, 2014 02:27 IST
HT Correspondent

Escalating the war of words over Narendra Modi’s humble background as a ‘chaiwala’, Congress on Saturday said BJP’s PM candidate, who often flaunts his past to connect with voters, was never a tea vendor but a “canteen contractor.”

Senior leader and Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel also termed Modi’s much-hyped campaign ‘chai pe charcha’ as a poll gimmick.

“This chai pe charcha is natak (gimmick) keeping in mind the elections. Tea seller associations have told us that he was never a tea-vendor but he was a canteen contractor,” Patel said without naming Modi.

He was speaking at ‘Swaraj Kuch’ rally where noted civil rights activist Lalji Desai, along with hundreds of his Maldhari community followers, joined Congress.

Accusing Modi of trying to appropriate the legacy of Sardar Patel, the Congress leader said “by making the tallest statue of Patel, he wants to make a ladder for the PM’s chair.”

Taking a dig at Modi’s claims of development, Patel said Gujarat was a laggard in social sectors.

“Gujarat is lagging behind in health, education and other social sectors. As per his propaganda, Gujarat is number one, but from the bottom. Gujarat is on 28th rank as far as primary education is concerned.”

(With PTI inputs)