The very first thing that stands out while you enter the tiny Vadnagar railway station is a large construction wrapped in a sheet with marigold flowers adorning it. All of the sudden, some younger boys come to take away the garlands, telling me they’re stale and every morning they put up recent ones.
However what’s so particular concerning the construction? It’s a reproduction of a tea stall. Vadnagar station is now well-known as it’s right here that Prime Minister Narendra Modi started promoting tea whereas serving to his father who too would promote tea at this station to earn a dwelling.
The tea stall now’s a centre of attraction and the tradition ministry has determined to transform it right into a heritage web site. It’s coated in glass and the unique type is protected. The station director tells me a reproduction has been created and brought to Delhi the place it will likely be placed on present. Sources say that there’s a plan to showcase this tea stall reproduction on the Pradhanmantri Sangrahalaya or the PM Museum in Delhi.
But it surely’s Vadnagar that’s excited. The small, sleepy township, about 100 km from Ahmedabad, hardly ever sees a lot exercise. However now the PM has flagged off the Gandhinagar-Varetha prepare, which passes via Vadnagar. It’s a part of a heritage circuit and with the prepare stopping right here to select up and drop vacationers, the retailers round have been spruced up, bringing hope of financial exercise and progress.
It was the standard cup of tea that catapulted the chief minister of Gujarat to the highest submit of Prime Minister. And as soon as once more, because the state heads into elections, the tea has turn out to be the fulcrum of politics. The Congress has burnt its fingers and refrains from making any jibes on the PM over the “chaiwala” problem, however the Aam Aadmi Occasion has determined to not maintain again and has come out with a plan.
As we step out of the station, we see younger volunteers serving what they name “additional candy chai”. In 2017, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Occasion misplaced within the hometown of the PM, which falls below the Unjha constituency within the Mehsana district. The BJP is now aggressively wooing this space and constituency to push the Congress out, however, extra importantly, to make sure AAP makes no inroads. However for AAP, it’s extra about proving a degree, or relatively a tea level.
So, its volunteers are seen exterior the small station serving tea. A sip and while you say its sweetness is killing you, they are saying, “We need to inform the BJP that their chai has misplaced its sweetness. We are going to convey it again.”
Vadnagar is the axis of the BJP’s emotive worth, because the stationmaster and a BJP supporter inform me. He’s Yogesh Patel, and he says, “We don’t must show a degree. The PM has proven that he can develop from a humble starting to turning into probably the most highly effective man. He’s giving again to Vadnagar what he received from right here. This place is now going to be related nicely.”
However for the BJP, it’s now turn out to be a status combat as soon as once more. With the Congress sweeping the Saurashtra belt within the 2017 Gujarat meeting polls and the BJP virtually worn out, the ruling get together’s mission is to return again right here. And for AAP, it’s the get together’s method of utilizing the cup of tea to make the purpose that the BJP can’t reach its mission.
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