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Vajpayee relished kulhad chai of this tea stall

LUCKNOW: The crowded, dimly lit, triangular tea stall witht the signboard studying - Sharma ji ki chai - in Lalbagh was once bustling with job on Tuesday evening. The special kulhad chai of the 70-year-old famous stall was once savoured via Rahul, Priyanka and Jyotiraditya Scindia on Monday, right through the birthday celebration's roadshow in town.

The 3 were however no longer its first big visitors. Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and previous leader ministers Kalyan Singh and Mulayam Singh Yadav had been at the stall.

In between pouring steaming tea from the kettle to customers at the outlet, Vinod Kumar (45) recalled the time when Vajpayee visited and praised the tea.

"It was in early 1990s when Atal ji had come to Lalbagh and was seated on a bench. Tea was asked for and the tea stall founder, Om Prakash Sharma served him the kulhad chai. He was all praises for the tea," stated Kumar. In 1949, Aligarh local Om Prakash began the stall which is now managed via his 24-year-old grandson Manav.

"On Monday, I was going about business as usual when an order was placed for three kulhad chai. I had no clue for who it was, until locals rushed saying it was being sipped by Congress leaders. I was surprised and believed them only when I saw photographs. I felt proud," stated Manav.

"Kalyan Singh and Mulayam Singh Yadav have been regular visitors. Dinesh Karthik and television actors also keep visiting. Suresh Raina comes whenever he is in Lucknow," he added.

Speaking of Priyanka's access in lively politics, Manav stated, "Whenever a new person comes, some new dimension is added. Let's see if Priyanka brings some improvement. Nothing can be said for sure in UP," he stated. Locals stated that Scindia had asked for tea when the cavalcade reached Lalbagh and Sharma ji ki Chai was once the most suitable option.

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