Mumbai tea vendors get VIP passes for Modi's Sunday rally

Mumbai, Dec 19 : Around 10,000 roadside tea vendors from Mumbai are getting VIP passes to attend Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's rally here Sunday.

BJP leader Raj Purohit Thursday started distributing the special invites to tea vendors in south Mumbai and urged them to attend the rally scheduled at the Bandra-Kurla Complex.

"Modi made humble beginnings as a 'chaiwala' (tea vendor) at Ahmedabad railway station before plunging into politics. The Congress made fun of him and his modest start in life. He shot back that it was better to sell tea, than sell the nation, so we will have tea vendors as special guests at his mega rally," Purohit told media persons.

Excited by the VIP invitation cards, most tea vendors have decided to shut shop for a day and attend the "Maha-Garjana" rally.

A special enclosure will be reserved for the tea vendors where they will sit and listen to Modi, said Purohit as he sipped tea and posed with the "chai-walas" for pictures.

Besides the vendors, the city BJP is leaving no stone unturned to ensure maximum turnout for the rally.

BJP activists are on a door-to-door mission to convince people to attend the rally and using all media platforms to generate awareness and attract people for the event, said city BJP president Ashish Shelar.

The party has arranged a special phone number on which people wanting to attend the rally can give a missed call for getting a complimentary pick-up.

An activist returns the call and takes the caller's details to organize the pick-up from a pre-determined point near their residence.

Besides the star speaker, the rally is scheduled to be addressed by BJP president Rajnath Singh, former chief Nitin Gadkari, senior leaders like Gopinath Munde, state party chief Devendra Fadnavis, Leader of Opposition in Legislative Assembly Eknath Khadse, Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council Vinod Tawade and others.

BJP general secretary Rajiv Pratap Rudy, who has been looking after the arrangements for the past three weeks, has directed that it should be "a model rally and set the benchmark for other public meetings," said party leaders.

--IANS (Posted on 19-12-2013)

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