Narendra Modi ‘chai pe charcha’ venue sealed by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation


Ahmedabad: The venue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popular ‘chai pe charcha’ event has been sealed by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. Iskcon Ganthiya tea shop – the venue of Narendra Modi’s ‘chai pe charcha’ web broadcast has been sealed by the Ahmedabad civic body as it was ‘illegal’ and causing traffic problem in the area. The civic body locked the Iskcon Ganthiya tea shop on August 5 and since then it has been sealed.

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The customers apparently parked their vehicles in a haphazard manner. On at least two occasions, AMC tax inspectors had visited the shop requesting the owners to produce approved building plans and ownership details. "The owners could not produce any of the documents and we had to seal the premises," said a senior AMC official.

In February 2014, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Modi's election campaign team – Citizens for Accountable Governance (CAG) – chose the shop as the venue for the 'chai pe charcha' broadcasts. CAG used a unique combination of satellite, DTH, internet and mobile technologies to relay the interaction of Modi with voters, at 1,000 tea stalls identified by the BJP in 300 cities and towns across the country. These included 61 locations in 22 cities and towns in Gujarat. Iskcon Ganthiya featured pictures of Modi with earphones, engaging with people via giant screens.

"The traffic issue was getting problematic, even though a parking zone was earmarked nearby," a senior AMC estate officer said. "The shop is located just opposite the Karnavati Club on the access lane to the service road."

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