A significant “Chai Pe Charcha with Narendra Modi” was held on 8 March, 2014, on the occasion of International Women’s Day at the BJP party office in New Delhi. Modi interacted on the theme of women empowerment with the public at 1500 locations where prominent women were a part of the audience
Chai Pe Charcha—discussion over a cup of tea—was yet another innovative election campaign initiative conceived for the 2014 campaign of Narendra Modi.
It was launched from the Iskon Gandhi Tea Stall in Ahmedabad, the capital of his home state Gujarat, on 12 February, 2014. From this venue Narendra Modi was connected with 1000 tea stalls over 300 cities by his formidable information technology team with satellite, DTH, internet and mobile.
The subject for the first Chai Pe Charcha was good governance. This event had been organized by an NGO, Citizens for Accountable Governance. Of the 1000 locations, Modi interacted with people from 30 places. The questions were selected by the organising NGO from its website. Those shortlisted to ask questions shared views and gave suggestions for the campaign through the video conferencing facility made available.
In all venues where the programme was telecast, Modi appeared on screen with a cup of tea in his hand. The event drew the interest of the international press which covered it favourably and in great detail.
There were many such Chai Pe Charchas held to build on the success of the first venture to an extent that it became a trade mark of the Modi persona.
After becoming Prime Minister, Modi’s cup of tea with Barack Obama in Hyderabad House, New Delhi, when the latter visited India as chief guest for the Republic Day 2015, garnered many national and global headlines.
Modi’s invitation to tea at his residence, 7 Race Course, to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi, to discuss the Goods and Services Tax Bill and other legislations was also marked as a Chai Pe Charcha by the media.
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