Demonetisation effect? Congress owes Rs 2 lakh to chai wallah who sits near its Azad Maidan office
The nation’s oldest political party, Congress, reportedly owes Rs 2 lakh to a chai wallah from Azad Maidan, who has now stopped serving tea to party workers on credit.
According to a Mumbai Mirror report, Inder Joshi owns a tea stall near the headquarters of Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) at Azad Maidan.
Like most offices, the party functionaries and supporters prefer his tea over the one served via the office’s vending machine.
Joshi has claimed that the party, which orders multiple cups of tea daily and settles the amount in lumpsum, now owes around Rs 2 lakh in dues, because of which he has stopped serving tea on credit.
“My family has been running the shop here for decades. They (Congress) have not paid us since a long time and we have now stopped providing them tea on udhari. However, I know they will eventually pay us eventually. They always do,” he told the daily.
When contacted by Mirror, MRCC president Sanjay Nirupam accepted that the party owes the tea vendor, and assured that his dues will be settled soon.
“The issue of pending payment was brought to my notice a few weeks ago. The carelessness of one of our functionaries resulted in the dues. We had to pay the tea vendor Rs 4 lakh and we have already settled half the bill,” Nirupam said.
“He makes good tea and he should have been paid. He was not paid for nearly four months. We will settle the bill soon,” he added.
Ironically, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is critisized by Congress on a daily basis, was also a tea vendor before he ventured into politics.
According to political observers, Modi’s decision to demonetise high value currency has affected the party’s funding and hampered their ability to campaign with the same vigour in the upcoming elections.
As a result of the cash crunch, the party’s candidates will be resorting to more grass root level activities this election season, instead of spending on conventional media promotions.