BJP distributes tea
From left: BJP leaders Ashish Shelar (from Maharashtra), Harish Sanghvi (from Gujarat) and Tajindar Pal Singh Bagga (Delhi) distribute tea in front of the Congress party office in Surat on Wednesday, November 22, 2017.IBTimes India

With the two-phase Gujarat Assembly elections knocking on the door, the BJP is resorting to a rehashing of the old formula of "chai pe charcha" to take on the Opposition.

The ubiquitous tea has once again become a political issue because Yuva Desh -- the mouthpiece of the Youth Congress -- decided to poke fun at Prime Minister Narendra Modi through a meme where world leaders are seen asking him to go back to selling tea.

Modi's humble beginnings as a tea-seller had been one of the biggest reasons why voters saw him as one of their own -- as opposed to the dynastic option that was Rahul Gandhi -- during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Thus it was that the BJP organised tea distribution at various places when Modi chose to speak to the nation through his monthly radio address Mann Ki Baat on Sunday, November 27. It was christened "Mann Ki Baat -- Chai Ke Saath."

What Modi said

The prime minister touched on a number of topics during Sunday's address.

"We salute all those brave women and men who were killed in the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai. India has been raising the issue of terror for over four decades. The world initially didn't take us seriously, but now they are realising what destruction terrorism causes," he said, referring to the 2008 Mumbai attacks that lasted for four days but started on November 26.

He also said: "I am very glad to see that my farmer brothers have come forward to implement suggestions made in their soil health cards. Farmers realised that proper soil care is needed to increase production and that if we take care of our soil, it will also care for us."

Modi, however, did not say anything significant when it came to issues like job-creation, something that the Opposition has been needling the saffron party and the Central government on.

As he spoke, scores of BJP workers organised events where people gathered around the radio with a cup or small glass of tea in hand as part of the "Mann Ki Baat -- Chai Ke Saath" programme.