Panaji: A chaiwala becoming the Prime Minister seems to be a topic that refuses to die down, even as the tenure of the current government draws to an end. Now, former Union minister Sushilkumar Shinde has joined the chorus and said PM Modi rarely gave credit to the Constitution and the democratic system which made it possible for a chaiwala (tea seller) to rise to the country’s top position. (Also read: Tharoor Stands by His Chaiwala Comment, Alleges BJP Could Distort Any of His Statement) Also Read - Eid Mubarak: PM Modi, President, Other Leaders Greet People on Milad-Un-Nabi
However, the former Maharashtra chief minister added that he himself started out as a court peon but never boasted about his rise. “I was a ‘pattewala’ (peon) in Solapur District court. I have always maintained that whatever I have achieved in life is because of our Constitution,” Shinde said. Also Read - Were 'Modi, Modi' Chants Really Raised in Pakistan Parliament? Here's What Happened
“Rather than glorifying myself, I feel it is my duty to admit that the party to which I belong entrusted me with high offices,” he said. “Democracy and humility should go hand in hand. Blowing one’s own trumpet is counter-productive,” the former Union home minister added. Also Read - Former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel Passes Away at 92, PM Modi Mourns His Death
The Congress leader was delivering a key-note address on ‘Our Constitutional Democracy and Its Ideals’ here during the launch of a book written by lawyer and Congress leader Yatish Naik.
While the BJP banked heavily on PM Modi’s humble background as it sought votes in 2014, it was Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s comment on the country’s democracy that allowed a chaiwala to be the PM sparked a debate all over again. The BJP went on the offensive and criticised the Congress for harping on the PM’s background.
The debate only got uglier with comments on the Prime Minister’s lineage. Congress leader CP Joshi was pulled up by party president Rahul Gandhi and was made to apologise for his comment on PM Modi’s father. The Prime Minister also milked the issue for all its worth and raised the topic at every rally he addressed.