New Delhi, May 25 UNI | 2 months ago

The Rashtrapati Bhawan is all braced up for tomorrow's mega event of Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi's swearing-in ceremony which will see participation of SAARC Heads of state for the first time in such event in the country's history.


From ensuring security and coordinating VVIP movements to seating about 4,000 guests and preparing mouth watering dishes for the high tea after the event and President's dinner later for SAARC leaders, the Rashtrapati Bhawan staff is on its toes in their bid to see that everything goes flawlessly.

Various agencies have been involved to ensure success of the big event, Venu Rajamony, Press Secretary to President Pranab Mukherjee said.

"It is a huge logistical challenge and we have tried to take care of every detail, and worked closely with the security agencies and the Delhi police," the President's Secretary Omita Paul told reporters at media briefing about the event here.

The swearing-in ceremony is being held in the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhawan in view of the large number of guests invited.

Otherwise such ceremonies are held in the Darbar Hall, which, however, has a capacity of seating only about 500 guests. In the past, the ceremony of only two Prime Ministers " Atal Behari Vajpayee and Chandrashekhar have been held in the forecourt.

The oath will start at 1800 hrs, and was expected to last about over an hour. The High Tea would be served in three different courts of the Rashtrapati Bhawan to avoid crowding.

All the guests, other than the VVIPs would have to arrive at the venue between three and five after which the VVIP movement would start.

To keep the guests engaged till the event begins, bands of the Army Navy and the Air Force would be playing various patriotic tunes in the three Courts, and refreshments would be available in all the three area to help the Guests beat the heat.

There is also an emergency plan for shifting the venue to Darbar Hall keeping in view the thunder and dust storms that have been lashing the capital for the past few days in the evening. The event would be held in the open, and there are only light rains, the guest can do with umbrellas which are being kept ready.

Asked whether any specific request had come for reserving any seat for the prime minister designate's family, Ms Paul said no such request had come, and was for the party to decide which guest it would invite from its quota of seats.

Ms Paul said all the 777 MPs, state governors and chief ministers, the Chief Justice of India, and the whole outgoing

Council of Ministers besides ambassadors and representatives of the media had been invited for the event.

Arrangements had been made for four people accompanying per person who would be taking oath in Mr Modi's Cabinet.

Replying to a question, she said the list of the council of minsters is expected to reach the Rashtrapati Bhavan by late this evening.

Ms Paul said the Rashtrapati Bhavan staff had just five days to make the preparation for such a mega event. "We took it up as a challenge."

She said there would be a austere menu for the high tea -- about six varieties of snacks for " moong dal kachori, assorted pastries, dhokla, cucumber sandwiches, imartis and cookies.

In the President's dinner for the SAARC Heads of States, dishes, both veg and non-veg from all parts of the country would be served.

Some of these mouthwatering preparations include chicken hazari, tandoori aloo, arvi kababa, Birbali Kofta curry, Jaipuri bhindi, Kela methi Nu shak(a Gujarati dish), prawns, chicken chettinad,a Chennai speciality, galawati kabab,a Lucknowi speciality, chilled melon soup and Parval qorma, a Bengali speciality.

The deserts include pineapple halwa and sondesh besides cut fruits.

She said no camera of the private media would be allowed, and the ceremony would be telecast live by Doordarshan.

(Posted on 26-05-2014)