New Delhi: With two kinds of rice, chapati, vegetables and dal along with a variety of sweets served, the BJP national council meet Saturday was a strictly vegetarian affair.
A party leader told IANS the caterers were hired from Gurgaon, Haryana and were asked to prepare “light vegetarian” varieties. The crockery came from Delhi’s Alipur area.
The caterers were clearly told that the food for the 2,000 delegates who had come for the meet, should be “simple” and should not have too much of “spices”.
Interestingly, the food and tea spreads were segmented under the categories VIP, MLA and media.
Advani sidelined, Modi-Shah rule the roost
Amit Shah, who was seated between party veteran L.K. Advani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, preferred to keep his conversation limited only to the prime minister seated to his right. Advani spoke to Arun Jaitley, seated to his left.
Notably, Shah greeted Modi ahead of Advani in his speech, a clear deviation from other party leaders who greeted Advani first.
Even the prime minister preferred to greet Shah before Advani.
Of automatic lights and lotus-adorned walls
The Jawaharlal Nehru stadium auditorium, with its 2,000-plus seating capacity, was equipped with automatic lights that flashed the BJP symbol on its walls.
Several party workers and delegates, keenly listening to the senior leaders, were wearing saffron and white kurtas.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was also wearing a saffron-coloured half jacket.
It was the same auditorium which, during the 2010 Commonwealth Games, hosted the weightlifting competition.
The party flag was hoisted near the end of the stage where the dignitaries were seated.
Need 200 ‘PMs’, says Modi
Modi’s 30-minute speech in Hindi was mostly on exhorting his party members to bring a change in society and how the world view about India has changed since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power.
But he couldn’t stop himself from cracking a joke, when he said India is a big country and needs not one PM but 200 of them.
In the next instance, however, with a twinkle in his eye and a broad smile on his face he clarified, “PM means primary member”.
He punctuated his remark with a pause which drew more applause and laughter.
Toilets, sanitation figure again in Modi’s speech
The topics of sanitation and toilets seem to be very close to Modi’s heart.
That could be the reason why the Modi government has stressed on “Swachch Bharat Shreshtha Bharat” (Clean India, Best India)
In his speech, he once again mentioned sanitation and toilets.
He asked party workers to take up these social causes from one village to another — drawing applause from the party members.