CHANDIGARH : While the story of how a chai-wallah rose to become the PM of India is now well known, few people know that inside a small tea shop opposite the Ambala railway station, son of three-time former BJP MLA Master Shiv Prasad, makes a living, just like his father, by selling tea. Right outside the station, there is quite a queue at a small tea and sweets shop called Anil Sweets.
“My father became the MLA from Ambala (City) on a BJP ticket in 1977, then again in 1982 and 1987. He never went asking for a ticket, but senior party leaders, including Mangal Sen, requested him to contest. He never spent from his pocket during elections the way candidates now have to spend money to get votes,” says Anil Kumar Prasad.
Despite becoming the Ambala MLA, Shiv Prasad continued to run his tea shop. “Even when he was the sitting MLA, my father use to run the tea shop. He always said this is our bread and butter. After his death, I am doing the same and running this age-old tea shop which was started by my grandfather,” says Anil.
Though he supports BJP, Anil has never contested polls. “Nobody offered me a ticket and nor did I go asking for one. Nowadays, tickets are given to influential and rich people and I am neither. My father use to say ‘Never ask for anything’. I am following his principles. I don’t want to fight polls now. If I can do something for this city I will definitely do it,” he says. “I was the general secretary of the district unit of BJP till six months back and have been actively working for the party,’’ he adds. During the recent Lok Sabha polls, he sold saffron-coloured “Modi ladoo” at his shop for `2 each.
Shiv Prasad worked at his shop till he was bed-ridden due to illness. He died in February 2007. A large number of BJP leaders, including former Haryana BJP chief Rattan Lal Kataria, paid floral tributes at his funeral.