He came. He ate with them. And, reports suggest, he won them over.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi caught fellow MPs by surprise when he asked them to join him for lunch at the parliament canteen.
“I’m going to punish you today, come with me,” the Prime Minister reportedly said to the MPs, mock-seriously.
Rice, daal, khichdi, til ka laddoo were among the fare served at the vegetarian lunch.
Ram Mohan Naidu from TDP, Ritesh Pandey from BSP, BJP’s Ladakh MP Jamyang Namgyal, Union Minister L Murugun, Sasmit Patra of BJD, and BJP’s Maharashtra MP Heena Gavit were among the attendees.
During the 45-minute lunch, MPs, across party lines, asked about the Prime Minister’s lifestyle, when he wakes up, and how he manages such a packed schedule.
Enjoyed a sumptuous lunch, made even better thanks to the company of Parliamentary colleagues from various parties and different parts of India. pic.twitter.com/6MWTOCDnPJ
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 9, 2024
“It was a purely casual, cordial meeting with the PM for lunch at the MPs’ canteen. It was a good gesture,” one of the MPs told NDTV.
“It did not feel like we were sitting with the Prime Minister,” said another.
Covering a range of subjects, the Prime Minister spoke about his surprise visit to meet Nawaz Sharif – who is hoping to form the next Pakistan government after controversial elections – his foreign tours, and the Statue of Unity, among others.
The Prime Minister also spoke about the Abu Dhabi temple, for which he laid the foundation stone in 2018 and which he is set to visit next week. It is the first Hindu temple project in Abu Dhabi, the PM said, underscoring India’s soft power.