You can have a hearty meal for Rs 5 in Mumbai, says BJP leader

Jul 04, 2014, 08:42 IST | Varun Singh

While your head may still be reeling from the rise in prices of almost every commodity, a BJP leader believes Rs 5 can fetch one a content meal in Mumbai.

BJP city unit president Ashish Shelar
BJP city unit president Ashish Shelar

If the city BJP president Ashish Shelar is to be believed, one can eat to one’s heart’s content for just R5. He said this while speaking at the party’s state executive meet held in Andheri Sports Complex.

“This is Mumbai, where we have big restaurants and the most expensive dishes on one hand. On the other hand, one can also have sufficient food for R5. Mumbai is the best example of have and have-nots,” he said at the meeting.

Shelar used the Marathi word ‘potbhar’ (stomachful, literally). A vada pav costs nearly Rs 12, and a pani puri plate now makes you lighter by Rs 20. When asked where exactly could one procure such a meal, Shelar said, “A poor man gets food. He gets food even at the Mahim dargah, where people give them food for Rs 2 and Rs 5.”

However, he denied using the word ‘potbhar’. Shelar claimed he was trying to lend context to a statement that Mumbai has everything for everyone. “My statement shouldn’t be judged out of context. I was referring to the situation in Mumbai.”

Cheap talk
Shelar has joined a league of politicians who claim one can eat sufficiently for a pittance. Actor and former Congress MP Raj Babbar had said that one could fill one’s stomach for R12 in Mumbai, and he insisted it wasn’t just with vada pav. A dozen rupees could fetch roti, vegetables and dal rice, he believed.

His fellow Congress party leader Rasheed Masood claimed that R5 was enough to get a meal in Delhi. Lowering the bar even further was former Union Minister and NC leader Farooq Abdullah, who believed one could eat even for Rs 1, depending on what one wanted to eat.

These bizarre comments had come in defence of the Planning Commission’s figures released in 2013, which had pegged the poverty line at a daily expenditure of Rs 33 in cities.

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