Amritsar: Passengers who asked for a cup of Tea in Amritsar bound Shatabdi Express on Thursday would have come across two known faces with an interesting appeal.
These paper cups have images of PM Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah appealing “Bhajpa ke sadasya banein saath aayein, desh banayein (Become a member of BJP come along, build the nation)” along with a toll free number.
A railway caterer is behind these ads who has links with a New Delhi based NGO, Sankalp Foundation, started in November 2014 and describes itself as “a charitable trust without any object of profit making” on its website (sankalpfoundation.co.in).
The websites shows only two faces introducing Rajeev Mittal as its “senior vice president” and Satya Bhushan Jain as “vice president” but on the cups there designations have been reversed. Mittal is also a director of R K Associates and Hoteliers Pvt Ltd (RKAHPL), which provides catering services to the railways.
While admitting this as a mix up, Mittal said, “I have only one vendor and he mixed this up. The cups that got used in trains were actually meant for political rallies. In the past, such cups were used in the rallies of Amit Shahji. I had asked the vendor to strictly ensure that these cups were not used in the trains. The cups that were to be used in trains were to advertise the Swachh Bharat campaign.”
Jain, meanwhile, confirmed that the cups with the BJP appeal were meant for universities and bus stands. While denying any links with BJP, he added , “I support whoever does good. If the Congress does well, I will support it.” He also denied that his NGO has any links with other sankalp Foundation whose main concern is education sector.
On being approached, Naresh Chander Goel , Divisional Railway manager ( Ferozepur) said “No permission was taken from us to use these cups. Trains cannot be used for promoting any political activity.”
He further added, “I have warned him (Rajeev Mittal) not to use these cups in trains. He has claimed that the cups were used in the trains by mistake. I have warned him that a fine may be imposed.”