Indian Express

‘Chai wala’ Modi sips tea, promises to bring black money back if he becomes PM

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At the onset of the programme, the Gujarat Chief Minister talked about the importance of good governance in a country. At the onset of the programme, the Gujarat Chief Minister talked about the importance of good governance in a country.

Milking ‘chai wala’ barb against him for all its worth, Narendra Modi sipped tea at ease as he interacted with the common man across 1000 places through video, attacking Congress over governance and black money, which he promised to bring back after becoming prime minister.

The BJP’s prime ministerial nominee, who has made senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s jibe at his humble origin, when he sold tea with his father, a political weapon to hit out at Congress while connecting with the masses, likened bad governance to diabetes which drains a nation of its vitality.

Dubbing black money as a “national worry”, Modi said he was committed to bringing it back from tax havens abroad, “which no other government can do” and distribute a portion of it among the salaried people who honestly paid their taxes.

“No matter how strong the body is, once it’s afflicted by diabetes, it begins to host multiple diseases. Bad governance is like diabetes. Corruption sets in, there is no development and people are condemned to suffer,” he said in an interface with common people as part of his “Chai Pe Charcha” programme.

Taking time off his high-pitched rallies, Modi castigated Congress at leisure over governance, saying “When a country of a hundred and twentyfive crore people loses faith in its elected government, how can the nation run? Mahatma Gandhi gave us Swaraj (self rule) but we could not bring Suraj (good governance).”

Responding to a question, the BJP leader dubbed accumulation of black money as an “anti-national” activity and vowed to bring it back from tax havens abroad even if it required amending existing laws and enacting new ones.

“The whole country is worried over black money. Black money is anti-national activity. We will set up a task force which will give it recommendations about how to bring it back. If required, law will be amended and new ones enacted. I am committed to do this because this money belongs to the poor people of India,” he said.

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