The first national council meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after it took over the reins of the government was a grand affair amid tight security.
The proceedings started with the hoisting of the flag to the drowning beats of the mridangam and the lulling notes of the nadaswaram, hallmarks of Carnatic music, signaling a flight from the usual nagara beats of the north.
The impeccably managed proceedings of the meet was overseen by various teams of more than 300 party volunteers, each designated to look after responsibilities like security, food, lodging and transportation of the delegates, and parking etc. Apart from that, more than 100 women from the Mahila Morcha worked to prepare the various momentos and bags handed out to the delegates and the press.
The event was organised by a Gujarat-based event management company, The Show Craft Events, who also organised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first Delhi rally in September.
The meeting was attended by about 2,200 party workers including national and state office-bearers, national executive members, MPs and MLAs. Apart from that there were more than 500 attendees from the media.
“We prepared for a little over a week for the function. Security was the main concern; apart from the security cover provided by the government for the PM, we had internal arrangements. Even a dustbin that entered the venue was screened through the scanner,” said Nupur Sharma of the Delhi BJP, who was in charge of handling the media.
The landslide victory of the party was palpable among party workers, most of whom seemed enthused and positive of the coming days.
Sharad Tripathy, a Lok Sabha member from Uttar Pradesh, said that the last two months were a window into the functioning of things in the coming days. “The opposition may say that inflation has shot up, but there has been a 1.5% increase in employment. Earlier, our soldiers were beheaded, and now they are sent back safely,” he said.
His enthusiasm was echoed by party worker Rakul Taseem Bano. “The opposition does not have much to say; it has no option but to keep mum and look on,” she said.
Linda Newmai of the Mahila Morcha, who hails from Nagaland, is hopeful that the discipline and transparency in governance will also trickle down to the northeast. “In Assam, there is a stong urge to replace the ruling Congress. This government will ensure that development reaches the northeast,” she said.
Most of the roads leading to and from the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the venue of the meet, remained closed for the duration of the meeting, leading to long traffic snarls in areas nearby.