​Udupi’s ‘Modi’ and ‘Gandhi’ a big draw in Gujarat

Two​ residents from temple town Udupi ​are being wooed by BJP election managers for campaigning in poll-bound  Gujarat​.

Published: 06th December 2017 02:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th December 2017 07:08 AM   |  A+A-

Sadananda Nayak and Augustin Almeida, lookalikes of Modi and Gandhi, from Udupi have hit the BJP campaign trail in Gujarat

Express News Service

MANGALURU: Two​ residents from temple town Udupi ​are being wooed by BJP election managers for campaigning in poll-bound  Gujarat​.​They are no party leaders but ​Au-​​ gustine Almeida​ and ​ Sadananda Nayak are in great demand for the striking resemblance they bear to Mahatma Gandhi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Nayak, 59, was ​working as ​ a cook in KMC Hostel while Almeida, was an underwater welder. Both ​are no longer working but have gained prominence as lookalikes.

Recently, they were a big draw at a Dharmasthala function in which Prime Minister Modi had participated and ​also at the ​ Dharma Sa​nsad in Udupi.  A few days ago, the duo landed in Ahmedabad on a BJP worker’s suggestion. Since then they ​have been  busy​ taking part  in the party’s election campaign. BJP leaders and workers are ​competing  with each other to ​book​ them for campaign​ing​ in their areas. In the last three days, the duo who sport ​trademark attires of Gandhi and Modi have attended over a dozen campaigns​,​ mostly padayatras. Their presence in Gujarat has spread rapidly through newspapers and social media as a result of which BJP election managers in nearby places want to invite them. The duo have also covered ​the​ Maninagar assembly segment, once represented by Modi.​Speaking over phone, Nayak said they were overwhelmed ​by the ​warmth of Gujaratis​ wherever they went.

“Many touched our feet in reverence and offered us food and accommodation in good hotels. They are taking good care of us,” he said.Nayak​,​ who incidentally started his career as a tea seller when he was just 12, said it​ was his liking for Modi ​that ​ brought him to Gujara​t. “We have not come here for money. We are leading a retired life and ​this is an  outing for us. We have spent our own hard​-earned money to come here,” said Nayak​.​Amid their busy schedule they took time to visit the ​Sabarmati Ashram and a few temples and churches in Ahmedabad and surrounding areas. “We are not sure when we will wind up our tour. It may take 10-15 days more. After campaigning, we may visit a few places of interest before returning,” said​ Nayak​.

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