NaMo’s ‘Chai pe charcha’ draws people in Coimbatore, Tirupur to tea shops

There was something more to the tea the owner of a tea stall offered to customers on the busy Robertson Road, R.S. Puram, on Wednesday evening – politics. For, at his shop, Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was addressing customers over a video link.

The volunteers of NaMo Peravai, an organisation campaigning for Mr. Modi, had arranged for live streaming of the programme, called ‘Chai pe charcha’ (discussion over tea), in the tea shop and also at four more places in Coimbatore. Across the country, the Modi corps had arranged for live interaction in 300 towns and cities at 1,000 shops.

The Peravai volunteers said that they had approached a few tea shop owners more than a month ago seeking their consent.

And, at places where they had obtained consent, they placed television sets that were wired to the network of a popular direct-to-home service provider to broadcast the programme.

At the tea shop, the audience included auto rickshaw drivers, daily wagers, Modi supporters and curious onlookers.

R.S. Puram resident G. Subburaman, who came to know of the programme from friends, said that he was there to listen to what Mr. Modi had to say. “I am eager to see how he is campaigning and fielding questions.”

This ‘Chai pe charcha’ was the best possible befitting reply Mr. Modi could have given to his opponents, said Manoj Kumar Jain, a BJP sympathiser. The BJP leader had successfully converted the opposition taunt into a campaign. This was bound to have a positive impact on the elections.

For the tea stall owner, A. Karuppaiah, it meant publicity and business as well. And, also pride.

“I am happy to say that a person who had sold tea is contesting for the country’s top job.”

But all was not well with the arrangements as the Coimbatore City Police had raised objections stating that the organisers ought to have obtained permission. The organisers, however, maintained that they need not need permission as the programme happened within tea shops and not in the open space.

Staff Reporter from

Tirupur adds

The event was viewed by the people through the screens set up at select-three tea stalls located near New Bus Stand, alongside Mangalam road and alongside Tirupur-Dharapuram road in Tirupur city.

The volunteers of NaMo Peravai and BJP local units made the arrangements for screening the live conference. Being an innovative venture, many people thronged the said tea stall premises to get glued to the screen even though many could not understand the governance-related questions and answers which were in languages other than Tamil.

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