In the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Narendra Modi, the then-prime ministerial candidate for the BJP, was spotted engaging in conversation with several voters at a tea stall on the Ahmedabad's SG Highway, during his Chai pe Charcha sessions.
However, the city's Municipal Corporation has decided to seal the tea stalls in that stretch, including the Iskcon Ganthia eatery, popularised by its association with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The eatery, better known as the Namo tea stall, is where Modi interacted with people for over two hours who had gathered at around 1,000 tea stalls across 300 urban centres through video conferencing on 13 February 2014.
The civic body officials have dismantled the Namo tea stall along with the other stalls in the complex during the sealing drive. Officials have cited congestion on the highway and accidents as the reasons for the move. The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation said that despite being issued several warnings, the shops were still running, leading to traffic issues.
"This area is accident prone and 70% of the 40-foot road is usually blocked by parked vehicles. We had warned the shop owners several times to manage their parking... The shops are also illegal as their plans have not been approved and they don't even have the basic BU (Building Use) permission. Their impact fee has also not been regularised. The shops have been sealed indefinitely for now", Chaitanya Shah, AMC's deputy estate officer of New West Zone told told the Indian Express.
The shopkeepers have alleged that members of Karnavati Club across the road, used to park their vehicles near the complex, leading to the congestion.
"The AMC officials came and dismantled NaMo tea stall, which had played host to Modi's Chai Pe Charcha session. Our security guards help manage traffic here, but wealthy and influential guests of Karnavati Club do not pay heed them and park vehicles near our shops. We have submitted all the land records since 1988 to the AMC, but our shops are still sealed," Chetanbhai J Patel, co-owner of the 5,700 sq meter land on which the complex stands told the Indian Express.