They were upset not by the 'defamatory' words printed at the bottom of the food bill receipt generated at the restaurant but by the fact that a simple meal at the restaurant, and that too a vegetarian one, had cost Rs 240!
That is full Rs 218 more than what one of their spokesperson Raj Babbar said about the price of a full meal in Mumbai.
The former Samajwadi Party (SP) leader has quite a few similarities with another ex-SP leader Beni Prasad Verma. Besides hailing from the same state and joining the same party after leaving the SP, both Verma and Babbar have made their deep understanding of economics amply clear. The former had once said that he was happy with price rise for it was helping the farmers to earn more! Similarly, Babbar tried to convey at a recent AICC meeting that poverty in the country has come down even as prices have shot up.
He backed his argument by saying that it is still possible to have a full meal in Mumbai for just Rs 12. No wonder, the restaurant at Parel which had charged Rs 240 for a meal drew ire for not substantiating Babbar's claim.
The Bollywood hero of yesteryear said he can have rice, daal sambhar mixed with vegetables for Rs 12 and hence suggested that it was meaningless to raise a storm over the question of poverty limits. Babbar was asked how the poor could have two full meals with a daily expenditure as low as Rs 28 or Rs 32.
Babbar also had an explanation for the rising prices of vegetables, mainly tomato. He said it would not be proper by determining poverty in terms of tomato prices. He said residents of a city might find it hard to buy tomato but those in villages will pluck them from plants. "Tell me whether he is rich and poor," he said.
Nice Mr Babbar. We have an economist in all of our politicians yet the world is worried whether the 'India story' would be junked in the near future.
However, we must thank Mr Babbar for taking note of the fact that a meal in Mumbai is still available fir Rs 12. Not many politicians are found uttering such simple sums nowadays.