Chennai: This may sound bizarre but yes sometimes canteens serving humble food can influence poll results. It has emerged that Jayalalithaa’s canteens serving South Indian delicacies such as sambar rice for just Rs 3 and an Idli for Rs 1 is a big hit from ricksaw-pullers to IT executives.
Their popularity has been so huge that they draw thousands of people to their doorsteps everyday, raising speculations that they have the potential to influence election results.
Besides sambar rice and idlis, the canteens also serve delicacies like Curry Leaf Rice and Curd Rice. For just Rs 5, the canteens serve a full plate of these delicacies.
Citing a visitor, the Indian Express wrote “One look at the price list, and you might think you have time-travelled back to the 1980s.”
The canteens are named Amma Unnavagam or Amma Restaurant and provide low-cost meals for the public. However, despite doubts about its sustainability, it has grown to a chain of over 200 outlets across Tamil Nadu’s urban centres, said the report.
The Amma restaurants are so popular that even officials from other states visit them and are “keen to replicate the model”, the report said.
The menu included idlis (Rs1 each) and pongal for breakfast, three varieties of pre-mixed rice for lunch (Sambhar Rice and Curd Rice for just Rs3 each, while the third dish is either a Lemon Rice or a Curry Leaf Rice), and chapattis (Rs3 for two) served with a complimentary dal for dinner.
A local resident said that since these restaurants are only located in the urban centres of the state, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa may reap reach dividens from them in the urban pockets.