Ahmedabad: At tea-time today, Narendra Modi will spend an hour at the Iskon Gathiya tea stall in western Ahmedabad, which has been wired up for his chai pe charcha session.
From there the BJP's prime ministerial candidate will make an address and engage with people across the country. The event will be relayed live at 1,000 tea stalls in 300 cities. (Narendra Modi's 'chai pe charcha': 10 things to know)
These stalls have been equipped with big TV sets or projectors and Mr Modi will use what is being pegged as "a unique combination of satellite, DTH, internet and mobile," to interact with the public in the mega outreach programme, which is part of his election campaign for the Lok Sabha elections due by May. (Track Live Updates)
Between 6 and 7 pm on Wednesday, he will directly interact with people at 30 locations; here people can share their views, ask questions and make suggestions on the BJP's election campaign through video-conference. The Modi team has sought questions on a website and the five best will be answered by Mr Modi.
The programme, which highlights that Mr Modi sold tea on trains as a young boy, is positioned as a gigantic snub to political rivals like the Congress' Mani Shankar Aiyar, who have made snide remarks about the Gujarat Chief Minister's modest origins.
The subject for today's 'chai pe charcha' is good governance. The BJP plans about 12 to 15 such sessions and other top party leaders will participate too.
The Iskon Gathiya tea stall opposite the Karnavati club, seems to have been chosen for its location. The western part of Ahmedabad has seen a lot of commercial and real estate development in the last 10 years. About 300 hand-picked BJP workers will join Mr Modi for tea at the stall.
The unusual campaign is being watched keenly. "It is an interesting idea, there were some unwarranted attacks on Narendra Modi for tea-vending, and if he can turn it around then it is good," said Jai Panda of the Biju Janata Dal
Sanjay Raut of the Shiv Sena, a BJP ally, said, "Half the population of our nation drinks tea and other half sells it...We are with them."