TDP, Congress spar over Modi's 'Araku Coffee' reference

On Sunday, a controversy brewed hours after PM Narendra Modi praised Araku coffee, a prominent coffee brand from Andhra Pradesh. Soon after the PM's reference on his Man Ki Baat show, former Congress Minister Jairam Ramesh accused him of boasting so much about the brand.

Taking potshots at Modi, Jairam Ramesh said that the PM had given the impression that it was he who invented the Araku Valley organic coffee brand. The Congressman reminded everyone that it was the Naandi Foundation that was responsible for the initiative of coffee cultivation by tribal communities in the Araku Valley with assistance from the State and the Central Government. He added, "As Minister of State of Commerce, I had been privileged to launch the brand in Araku Valley on Dec 21, 2007. I had been back there five years later as Union Minister of Rural Development."

At this, TDP General Secretary Nara Lokesh chipped in and counted Ramesh, saying that the PM did not give any impression about "inventing" Araku Coffee. The TDP leader wrote that the coffee brand is "integral to AP’s culture". Lokesh reminded Ramesh that the PM did mention the role of the Girijan Cooperative in his Man Ki Baat address. "As a leader of a national party, one expects decency and honesty from you," Lokesh added.