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From Chaiwala to Candidate: Odisha Tea Seller Takes Inspiration from PM Modi, Enters Assembly Election Fray

A tea seller is entering the political race for the May 25 Odisha Assembly elections, motivated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Among the least wealthy contenders for a seat in the Brahmagiri assembly constituency is 26-year-old Sukanta Ghadai of the Puri district of Odisha. Motivated by Prime Minister Modi’s modest beginnings as a tea vendor, […]

A tea seller is entering the political race for the May 25 Odisha Assembly elections, motivated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Among the least wealthy contenders for a seat in the Brahmagiri assembly constituency is 26-year-old Sukanta Ghadai of the Puri district of Odisha.

Motivated by Prime Minister Modi’s modest beginnings as a tea vendor, Ghadai, who makes his living from tea sales, hopes to follow in the Prime Minister’s footsteps. The prime minister, Narendra Modi, is the person who inspired me. “Why can’t another tea seller be elected as an MLA if one tea seller can become prime minister?” Ghadai declared that he would be elected and would work for the people.

The aspiring MLA, running independently, is determined to combat corruption in his constituency, aiming to make it self-sufficient and corruption-free. He intends to tackle various prevalent issues, including bribery during Aadhaar card and ration card registrations, as well as the inadequate accessibility of ambulances and road accidents involving stray cattle.

For his election campaign, Ghadai plans to traverse his constituency on a bicycle, urging residents for their blessings and support in his inaugural attempt at securing a seat in the state legislature. Despite having no movable or immovable assets, Ghadai pledges to prioritize fulfilling the people’s expectations and keeping his promises if elected.

Ghadai, however, is up against fierce opposition from well-known politicians such as Congressman Mitrabhanu Mohapatra, BJP’s Upasna Mohapatra, and ruling BJD’s Umakanta Samantaray. On May 25, 2024, there will be elections for the Odisha Assembly and the Lok Sabha.

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2024 Lok Sabha electionAadhaar cardOdisha Assembly electionsOdisha Tea SellerSukanta GhadaiTDGThe Daily Gaurdian