New Delhi, 21 February 2015 : There is no record available that shows Prime Minister Narendra Modi was selling tea on railway platforms or trains in his childhood, claims social activist and congress supporter Tehseen Poonawalla on the basis of a RTI reply by the Modi government’s own Railway Ministry.
Mr. Tehseen Poonawalla, a leading entrepreneur and a very vocal congress supporter had filed an RTI application with the Railway Board to inquire about any record, registration number or official pass that was issued to Shri Narendra Modi allowing/entitling him to sell tea on any train/railway station. He also asked Railway Board to provide the name of the train/railway station with relevant documents where Shri Narendra Modi sold tea. The Railway Board has said in the RTI reply that no such information is available in TG III Branch of Tourism and Catering Directorate of Railway Board.
Commenting on the issue Mr. Tehseen Poonawalla said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s own Railway Ministry has denied that they have any information about Modi ji selling tea on any platform or on any train. In the past, commentators like Aakar Patel have also suggested that Modi’s claim of being a chaiwala may be a stretch. This document convincingly proves the same.”
Mr. Tehseen Poonawalla further said that ” I closely followed Modi ji even before he became the Prime Minister and often sported him wearing expensive glares, watches and even pocket squares. Now we know as PM he wore a suit that was very costly and often the PM is spotted in very expensive designer outfits. Hence my curiosity about his past. Make no mistake in a democracy a common man rising to become PM is something all of us should be proud of but if Mr. Modi was selling tea at railway station or on trains, then the Railway Board will certainly have such information.”
He further asked that “how it is possible that the Railway Ministry and Railway Board, which is working under Shree Modi’s Government, has no information regarding Prime minister biggest claim that Modi ji was selling tea in childhood, which was his main election plank.”