In a statement that is bound to create controversies, Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Friday said BJP PM candidate Narendra Modi can never become the prime minister of India and invited him to sell tea at the ongoing AICC meeting.
“I promise you that in this 21st century, Narendra Modi can never become the Prime Minister of India, never, never, never; if he wants he can come and distribute tea at the meet here,” Aiyar said.
A similar statement by Samajwadi Party leader and former UP minister Naresh Aggarwal had drawn severe criticism as he said a tea seller could not become prime minister of India.
However, Modi responded saying he was proud that he served Indian soldiers when he was young and used to sell tea in a railway station. Modi used to work in his uncle’s tea stall before he set his own shop near a railway station in Gujarat in his young days.
Modi took pride for his socio-economic background and humble origins at rallies while targeting the Gandhi-Nehru family. The Congress leader Aiyar is a strong supporter of the family.
Modi had said people who are ruling at the Centre “don’t know what poverty is all about, but I know it”, adding he was born in a poor family, and had seen and lived in poverty.
“I have sold tea at the railway station and in running trains …those selling tea in trains know more about railways than the minister,” Modi had said at a rally in Patna.