Prime Minister Narendra Modi played host to another memorable evening with ‘like-minded’ journalists on Thursday even as Delhi remained confined to the siege of an undeclared ’emergency’ following the tragic death of a soldier over OROP.
Modi, who was joined by his party president, Amit Shah, met a group of visibly awe-struck journalists at the BJP headquarters as part of his annual Diwali Milan meet.
The inaugural Diwali meet in 2014 had gained considerable media attention because of journalists’ fight for selfie with the prime minister.
Modi was mobbed by journalists who had then fought with each other to take a selfie with the ‘rockstar’ prime minister of India.
“I wanted to host this event around Diwali, but I was indisposed. It’s good that it is happening now or else we would have had to wait till Christmas,” he had jested.
This year, the BJP had made meticulous arrangements to avoid public ‘fight’ among journalists for a selfie with Modi. The journalists stood in queues as Modi went past them shaking hands and at times making important observations.
Today’s event took place when Delhi is witnessing an unprecedented law and order situation. A JNU student has been missing for 19 days and the police, which reports to Modi government, has been incapable of finding his whereabouts.
On Wednesday, an army veteran had committed suicide in the national capital over their long demand on OROP. His death was followed by police crackdown on opposition leaders, who went to visit the family members of the victim.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his party and cabinet colleagues were kept in detention for several hours.
Rahul was detained even on Thursday even as Modi enjoyed his evening with his trusted lieutenants in Indian media fraternity.
Quoting sources, Economic Times recently reported that Modi had suggested to his ministers to use the festival to reach out to the media and even talk informally to reporters about the work being done in their ministry.
Many would find Thursday’s party as another example of the central government’s indifference to soldiers’ suffering.
(Photos: Gaurav Pandhi)