Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said pointing at himself that who would understand the plight of tea garden workers of Assam better than a “chaiwala” (tea-seller).
Modi said this while addressing an election rally at Chabua in Dibrugarh district in an attempt to win the favour of the tea tribe community ahead of the Assam Assembly elections.
It remains to be seen if his “ celebrity chaiwala” status clicks well with the tea tribe community, who form a major part of the electorate in the Upper Assam districts.
Interestingly, there exists no official record of Modi being a tea-seller in his younger days.
In fact, during an exclusive interview to a national TV channel in 2019, Modi had claimed that he never said he was a “chaiwala”, but it was the Congress who started mocking him for being a tea-seller.
Interestingly, in response to an RTI filed by social activist Tehseen Poonawalla in 2015, the ministry of railway had said that no such information was available in TG III Branch of Tourism and Catering Directorate of Railway Board.
Poonawalla had filed the RTI seeking information whether any registration number or official pass was issued to the Prime Minister to sell tea on trains and at the station.
The tea tribe community is already much dissatisfied with the ruling BJP led state government’s failure to increase the daily of tea garden workers from Rs 167 to Rs 217.
On the other hand, Congress guarantees to increase this daily wage to Rs 365 in its ‘five guarantees’ campaign.