‘Didn’t feel like we were sitting with PM’
New Delhi, Feb 09: Eight Members of Parliament received an unexpected invitation on Friday when they were invited for a meal with Prime Minister NarendraModi, nearly at lunchtime.
This unexpected gathering saw eight MPs from various political parties sitting down for a meal with PM Modi in the Parliament canteen. BJP MPs HeenaGavit, S. PhangnonKonyak, JamyangTseringNamgyal, L. Murugan, TDP MP Rammohan Naidu, BSP MP RiteshPandey, and BJD MP SasmitPatra joined PM Modi for lunch.
Around 2:30 pm, the MPs received a call informing them that the Prime Minister wished to meet them. Upon meeting, the PM humorously remarked, “Chaliye, aapkoek punishment denahai (Let’s go. I have to give you a punishment).”
The MPs were taken by surprise when the lift door opened, revealing their destination as the canteen.
One of the MPs, speaking to media, shared, “We were called, and we went up and then realized where we were going…the canteen door opened.”
Upon reaching the canteen, they found themselves in the visitors’ lounge, prompting mutual wonder among the group about the reason for their gathering.
During the informal interaction, PM Modi revealed his fondness for khichdi, stating, “I’m not always in PM mode. I just wanted to have good food.”
Seizing the opportunity, MPs engaged in discussions with PM Modi, touching upon his busy schedule, extensive foreign trips, and topics like Gujarat.
The Prime Minister also shared anecdotes, including his 2015 visit to Pakistan to meet then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, despite objections from the Special Protection Group (SPG).
The MPs described the experience as “great” and “informal,” expressing their surprise at being able to set the agenda during the conversation.
The vegetarian lunch featured dishes such as rice, dal, khichdi, and tilkaladdoo.
During the 45-minute lunch, MPs from different parties inquired about the Prime Minister’s daily routine and his approach to managing his packed schedule.
Reflecting on the gathering, one MP remarked, “It was a purely casual, cordial meeting with the PM for lunch at the MPs’ canteen. It was a good gesture.”
Another MP added, “It did not feel like we were sitting with the Prime Minister.”
Covering various topics, PM Modi discussed his impromptu visit to Nawaz Sharif, his foreign engagements, and projects like the Statue of Unity.
He also mentioned the Abu Dhabi temple project, which he inaugurated in 2018 and plans to visit soon, highlighting it as an example of India’s soft power.