After countering the BJP’s NaMo tea stalls with ‘Rahul milk’, the Congress has now turned to humble ‘chaat’ — a tangy snack —- to spice up its campaign in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.
The party’s Bareilly unit Thursday set up its first stall at Rajendra Crossing in the Muslim-dominated area of the district to offer ‘Sampradaikta Virodhi Chaat’ (anti-communalism chaat) to the aam aadmi free of cost. The next such stall will be put at Ayub Khan crossing near district court on February 25.
Congress’s Bareilly district acting president Tribhuvan Sharma accepted that “our objective is similar to the BJP” as “we too are seeking support for our party.”
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“We offered chana chaat on Thursday. Such stalls would be set up at different places in the district till the Lok Sabha elections are announced and model code of conduct comes into effect,” Sharma said.
The banners and flex boards at these stalls carry the message: “Sampradaikta mukt va sadbhavna yukt chaat (chaat free of communalism and full of amity) free.” The boards also carry photographs of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and local party MP Praveen Singh Aron. “Separate pamphlets detailing achievements of the UPA government and the development works done by the party in Bareilly are given to every person visiting the stall,” Sharma said. Party leaders claimed the Thursday saw more than 200 visitors to the stall.
Aron’s wife and former mayor of Bareilly, Supriya Aron, had launched the stall. “The stalls are being set up to counter the NaMo tea stalls that BJP is organising to cash in on the tea-vendor background of Narendra Modi. Modi’s tea is spreading communal poison in the society,” Supria claimed.
Her husband has planned to contest from the same seat. He had defeated BJP candidate and six-time MP Santosh Gangwar from Bareilly in 2009.