The grand old party of India which ruled for the country for about 70 years is having some trouble clearing its dues with a neighbourhood chai-wallah, who has now stopped supplying the daily brew on credit.
Inder Joshi runs a small stall behind the headquarters of Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) at Azad Maidan and he is the most preferred chai-wallah among party functionaries and supporters. He claims the party has an outstanding balance of Rs 2 lakh.
“My family has been running the shop here for decades. They [the Congress] have not paid us since a long time and we have now stopped providing them tea on udhari,” he said. “However, I know they will eventually pay us eventually. They always do.”
Even as Joshi spoke out about the party’s dues, a Congress worker tried to place an order for “the people in cabin no 2” of MRCC. Joshi had a simple answer: “Cash first, please.”
MRCC president Sanjay Nirupam accepted that the party was yet to pay the tea vendor. “The issue of pending payment was brought to my notice a few weeks ago. The carelessness of one of our functionaries resulted in the dues. We had to pay the tea vendor Rs 4 lakh and we have already settled half the bill,” Nirupam said.
“He makes good tea and he should have been paid. He was not paid for nearly four months. We will settle the bill soon.”