BJP plans to cash in on Modi's 'tea-seller' credentials

Notwithstanding the offence it took to Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s caustic remark, the BJP is going to cash in on their prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi’s “tea-seller” past by launching a campaign that will allow the Gujarat chief minister to directly reach out to roadside tea stalls across the country.

BJP president Rajnath Singh, in his national council inaugural speech on Saturday, had said Aiyar’s comment of opening a tea stall for Modi at the AICC session reflected the Congress' “feudal mindset”.

Modi had said in the past that he used to sell tea at railway platforms and on moving trains to make a living.

At a session on “Social Media and Online Donation” on Saturday night, BJP leaders told workers who had come to attend the two-day national council that Modi would inaugurate a tea vendor campaign by visiting such a roadside facility in Gandhinagar.

The event will be broadcast live to connect tea stalls in 1,000 places across the

Other BJP leaders will also be present that day at different locations which are still to be decided.

The party wants to capitalise on Modi’s humble beginning as against the rich and elitist background of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who will lead the party's campaign in the elections.

Modi gave a glimpse of what was going in the mind of his party when he said on Sunday that one of the reasons for Rahul not being projected as the prime ministerial candidate was that it would be shameful for the Gandhi scion, belonging to a famous family, to contest against a tea seller who also belongs to a backward class.

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