Thursday, 29 September, 2022
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We are not bothered about Modi selling tea, we want to discuss the so-called Gujarat economic model

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As the chaiwala taunt is back in the Gujarat election campaign, ThePrint asks the question –

Has Congress stepped on its own toes for a second time with the chaiwala meme?

A meme was made from an unofficial Congress handle. The only party that has taken it seriously is the BJP, which is itself an expert at making memes on social media. The party has ridiculed every top leader of the Congress through memes and now when an unofficial handle of the Youth Congress has done this, they are making it a big issue disproportionately. That is their decision and they have to take a call. As far as the Congress party is concerned, we have already apologised. That handle has also withdrawn it.

The issue should have died by now. But the BJP doesn’t have any other issues for this election and they are running it on emotions. Even when the PM addresses people, he doesn’t talk about more relevant problems like the Patidar agitation, or farmers , or traders or literacy. He isn’t talking about the youth either. He is instead raking up the chaiwala issue. This shows that the BJP is completely short of ideas and that’s why they are trying to divert attention from more imminent concerns. It shows their frustration and desperation in this election. I hope the BJP will learn a lesson after the results for this election are out.


Here are other sharp perspectives on chaiwala jibe against Narendra Modi:

Sanjay Nirupam, Congress Spokesperson, Mumbai Congress President
Sambit Patra, spokesperson, BJP
Kancha Ilaiah, writer and Dalit rights activist
Kumar Ketkar, journalist


I don’t think Congress will face much harm since they have already dissociated itself from the issue. We don’t believe in such humour and anybody from any humble background can rise to any level in India’s democratic set up. This was conceptualised by the Congress in 1950 when it laid down the Constitution. We are not bothered with whether Modi sold tea or anything else. He is leveraging the issue to gain emotional traction. Our concern is more focused on discussing the Gujarat economic model. Unfortunately, the BJP doesn’t want to discuss that. I hope the voters in Gujarat will not get carried away with BJP’s emotional agenda.

Sanjay Nirupam is the Congress Spokesperson, Mumbai Congress President 

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