First the chaiwallah debate and now the Chai Pe Charcha campaign. If there is one overwhelming flavour even before the election campaign has picked up, it is tea.
The BJP prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, launched the campaign on Wednesday, having tea at a stall in urban Ahmedabad and interacting with people. It is a tacit taunt against the Congress after a leader of the party spoke beratingly of Mr. Modi’s humble beginnings as a chaiwallah.
In the BJP campaign, of the U.S. presidential election-style, Mr. Modi connects with the people using digital technology and direct dialogue.
He is using the chaiwallah barb as a campaign point. He is resorting to modern technology to connect with the young and the burgeoning middle class.
He said the discussion at the Chai Pe Charcha was about good governance. He would get into contact with two crore people this way. He would even take suggestions from the people and would not deliver long speeches.
To some applause, the Gujarat Chief Minister said bad governance was like diabetes, which would lead to all kinds of diseases. Tacitly addressing the business community in the same vein on a taxation policy, he said the Chanakya theory should be understood — a honeybee collects nectar from a flower but it does not destroy the plant. He indicated that the taxation policy under his rule would be in keeping with this sentiment.
In reply to questions, Mr. Modi spoke about the black money issue raised by BJP veteran L.K. Advani, and said, “We will bring back each and every rupee [stashed away overseas]. I am committed to fighting this, since it is an anti-national activity.”