From Fan to Foe: Meet PM Modi’s Lookalike Who Campaigns for Cong
Recalling the meeting with Modi, Abhinandan Pathak says the PM was stunned on seeing his lookalike.
Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
In 2014, as posters of Narendra Modi’s prime ministerial campaign floated in the remotest corners of the country, one man in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur found himself at the centre of much fanfare. He wasn’t a big-ticket politico or a spokesperson, but just an ordinary man who looked eerily similar to the then Gujarat chief minister.
From then to now, it’s been a tumultuous journey for PM Modi’s doppelgänger, Abhinandan Pathak. “Initially, it was all good,” Pathak says. People would chant ‘Modi Modi’ at his mere sight and even marvel at Pathak’s sharp resemblance to the prime minister.
But a year into Modi’s tenure, Pathak’s views changed, and the fanfare diminished.
“In trains, people would taunt me about PM Modi’s promise of acche din (good days). In buses, people started asking me about black money, and Modi’s promise of depositing Rs 15 lakhs.”Abhinandan Pathak
Pathak recalls that the only time he met the Prime Minister, before Modi won the 2014 general elections, was memorable. He says that PM Modi was stunned on seeing him and stared at him for a few minutes.
“He forgot to get out of the car. Eventually, as he did, I fell on his feet, much like Lakshman fell on his brother Ram’s. He then picked me up, and hugged me,” Pathak says.
Ever since, Pathak has tried to reach out to the Prime Minister on several occasions, only to be disappointed. Once a big fan of Modi, Pathak now feels that the PM has failed to deliver on his promises. Referring to allegations of crony capitalism and corporate frauds, Pathak says, “PM Modi may not eat (be corrupt) himself, but he hasn’t stopped others from eating.”
Disillusioned by the Prime Minister, Pathak recently quit the Republican Party of India – an ally of the BJP – and joined the Congress. He has been campaigning in poll-bound Chhattisgarh for the ‘grand old party’ and has even met Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
But Pathak will only stay if the Congress provides him with a platform. Otherwise, “he will form his own party.”
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