‘Tea-seller’ politics gathers steam in run-up to elections

Thanks to the Bharatiya Janata Party, which opened tea stalls to hard sell Narendra Modi’s image of a leader rising from a humble background, the Rashtriya Janata Dal has started claiming that its chief Lalu Prasad is the “real” tea-seller.

Besides providing free cups of tea and biscuits to people, the partymen at the ‘Lalu chai dukaan’ will tell them about the alleged “falsehood” of the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate.

An unfazed BJP, however, said such tricks would have no impact on voters.

Alleging that Mr. Modi’s claim of being a tea-vendor was false and asserting that Mr. Lalu Prasad was a “real” tea seller, the RJD has opened roadside tea shops at strategic locations in Muzaffarpur for its own brand of “chai pe charcha” (discussion over tea).

“We distribute about 1000 cups of tea along with biscuits to people free from ‘Lalu chai dukaan’ during an hour-long discussion every evening to tell people about Mr. Prasad and Mr. Modi,” Muzaffarpur RJD spokesman and the man behind the tea programme, Iqbal Shami, said.

The first such tea stall was opened on February 20 at Zero Mile in Ahiapur at the trijunction of roads leading to Mithilanchal and Samastipur, Mr. Shami said, adding that two more stalls were opened at Bochaha More and Beria bus stand.

More stallsHe said more such stalls would be opened in every village and block of Muzaffarpur and they will run till March 3 when Mr. Modi is scheduled to address a rally at Muzaffarpur.