Prime Minister Narendra Modi was literally mobbed by journalists, who wanted to get their selfies clicked with him at the Diwali Milan organised by the Bharatiya Janata Party at its headquarters on Ashoka Road in New Delhi on Monday. The PM was generous enough, giving ample opportunity to everyone who wanted a selfie clicked with him. He tried to reach out to the journalists by shaking hands with them and interacting with them informally.
He stayed at the venue for about an hour and spent most of the time with the journalists. It was a repeat of the scene last year when the BJP organised a similar get together of journalists with the Prime Minister over lunch. Last year also, there was a big scramble for selfies with the PM.
The event was supposed to be organised around Diwali, but got postponed because of the PM’s busy schedule. “Agar abhi nahi hua hota to Christmas tak intezar karna parta (had it not been done now, one may have had to wait till Christmas,” said the Prime Minister. During the interaction, one journalist suggested to the Prime Minister that he should address press conferences, to which he said he would see to it. Another suggested that such informal interactions should be made a regular feature.
Speaking at the occasion, Modi said Indian festivals give a new inspiration to society. “The festival of lights (Deep Parva) is also a part of it. There is no discrimination in it. It also strengthens the value of equality,” he said. Modi spoke about the mass connect of festivals including the Kumbh Mela. “In our society, festivals in themselves are a big strength, which give society a new momentum, energy and enthusiasm. A number of stories can be generated if its social and economic aspects are analysed. During the Kumbh Mela, the gathering is so huge as if there was some small European country there,” said the Prime Minister. Welcoming the journalists, BJP president Amit Shah wished a great year for the country’s democratic traditions. He referred to the two-day long debate in Parliament to commemorate the Constitution Day and the 125th birth anniversary of Dr B.R. Ambedkar and said that Parliament had unanimously placed the supremacy of the Constitution above all. “Our effort will be to take this spirit down the line to people and make even the weakest person in society aware of the Constitutional rights by next year along with the help of all parties and media,” Shah said. Many Union ministers and senior BJP leaders were present at the function including Arun Jaitley, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Venkaiah Naidu, Nitin Gadkari, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Smriti Irani, Nirmala Sitharaman, Ram Lal, M.J. Akbar, Sudhanshu Trivedi, Meenakshi Lekhi and Sambit Patra.