‘Chaiwala’ who backed PM Modi goes cashless

Customers can pay with debit card or e-wallet after sipping tea at Kiran Mahida’s stall opposite Khanderao Market.

Mahida, who had shot to limelight after proposing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s name for Vadodara seat in the 2014+ Lok Sabha polls, will soon be installing a card swiping machine at his stall.

Mahida is a popular tea-vendor+ and most of his customers pay their bills in monthly cycles. “I decided to get a swipe machine so that my customers are able to pay even if they don’t have cash. I have been accepting cash all these years but after the demonetization, I decided to go for a card swipe machine. As a responsible citizen, I thought it is better if I do all the transactions through the bank,” he told TOI.

He has opened a current account in the Bank of Baroda’s Khanderao Market branch that will help him get a GPRS-enabled swipe machine this week. He has also downloaded Paytm, the e wallet to accept payments from customers.

Mahida becoming one of the proposers for Modi’s candidature was a symbolic jibe at senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar who had asked Modi to sell tea outside the Congress headquarters during the poll campaign.

“Modiji made a roadside tea vendor like me and royal family member Shubhanginiraje Gaekwad proposer for his candidature. Now through demonetization, he has again given equality to the rich and the poor. It is a very good step to bring out the black money,” said Mahida, whose three generations have been selling tea at the same spot for last 50 years.