Shashi Tharoor’s chaiwala comment is PM Modi’s fresh ammo, hits at Rahul Gandhi
Campaigning in Chhattisgarh on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday picked on a remark by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor to deliver a stinging attack on the Congress, party boss Rahul Gandhi and his family. PM Modi, who repeatedly referred to the Gandhi family through his speech at Ambikapur, said the Congress did not look beyond the Nehru-Gandhi family and even credited Jawaharlal Nehru, and not the people for elevating a tea seller as a prime minister.
Former minister Shashi Tharoor had, at an event to launch a new edition of his book on Nehru, credited the first prime minister with creating institutional structures. “If today we have a chai wala as prime minister, it is because Nehru created the institutional structures through which any Indian can aspire to rise to the highest office of the land,” Tharoor said on Tuesday.
The BJP had moved in quickly, slamming Tharoor for his remarks.
PM Modi also weighed in. “The Congress cannot give credit to the people for a tea seller’s son becoming the prime minister. Their mentality is such that they credit Nehru for this too,” he said.
The Congress has lost sleep over losing the power that had remained with four generations of the family, he added, daring the Congress to make someone “from outside the family” its chief for five years.
“If this happens, I will accept that Nehru ji created such a democratic system because of which anyone, (even) a dedicated Congressman outside the family could become the Congress chief,” PM Modi said.
“They still keep crying. How could a chaiwala sit (on the PM’s chair). How could he? They still cannot fathom how come the son of a poor mother could sit on the ‘raj gaddi’ (throne of power),” he said.
The prime minister, who also travelled to Madhya Pradesh today for election campaigning, referred to himself as a tea seller for much of his speech.
“See the power of a tea seller,” he said at one point, talking about the millions of people who had been without bank accounts for decades. “A chai wallah opened the doors of banks for millions,” he said.
The second phase of Chhattisgarh elections will be held next Tuesday. Results for the elections will declared on Dec 11.
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