LS polls: Chai and 'charcha' at Pappu's tea stall in Varanasi
'Pappu ki chai ki dukan', said to be Varanasi's oldest and most popular tea stall, is buzzing this election season. This ancient city is famed for its love of politics and during the ongoing election season, the small tea stall resounds with animated conversations and debates themed on politics.
With Prime Minister Modi set to file nomination from his home constituency on Friday, he is a hot topic of discussion among customers, who are drawn to the Pappu's shop stall at Assi Chowk, assured of being welcomed with piping hot tea as well as a lively conversation- both very much a part of this temple town's culture.
At any time of the day, locals, politicians, poets, writers, critics, artists, students and even film stars jostle to find space at the stall where they swig endless cups of tea and apparently talk to their heart's content.
Nowadays apart from talking about 'giving Narendra Modi a second term as Prime Minister', the "prospects of Priyanka Gandhi contesting from Varanasi" are also hot topics of debate among others.
"Who else is there except Modi? Earlier the roads here were full of potholes and accidents were quite common. Now you can see the good conditions of roads yourself.
There also used to be a network of electricity wires all above our heads but now the wiring has been made underground. It's all became possible because of Narendra Modi," says Dr RP Singh, who retired from BHU and is a regular at the tea stall.
Another local Chand Pandey says that all good work done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will fade away if he is not given a second opportunity.
Deepak Ragane, another regular visitor at the tea stall says he advocates for a second term for PM Modi since he has "remarkable work" for Varanasi in terms of development and cleaning Ganga. There are also a few who have differing opinions.
"What BJP promised in its 2014 manifesto has not been fulfilled. They promised two crore jobs, it was a lollipop.
Now there is unemployment and even those who are pasting Narendra Modi's posters are being counted as employed," says Ram Bharat Ojha.