"It was not a classroom lecture by Mr Narendra Modi as reported in the newspapers," said a first-time BJP MP who attended an orientation course for the party's Parliament debutants, speaking strictly on condition of anonymity.
She was referring to the speech that prime minister Modi, himself a first-time MP, gave to the party's freshers at a two-day orientation course at Surjakund, in the national capital's outskirts, on Saturday. It was friendly advice that the prime minister doled out and he did it with good humour. He had said that there are no full stops in politics, and even he was a first-time MP at his age.
She said that Modi had asked them not to show anger or put on a pugilist's expression while participating in television debates. He has asked the party MPs to be calm and friendly, and be prepared to state the party's point of view. He also wanted them to be brief and pointed and not indulge in circumlocution or enter into verbal duels.
Modi also apparently asked the MPs to be prepared on issues for which they face the media. He asked them to know about their constituency issues and about the party's stand. She said that it was not true that he had told them not to talk to the media. She was quite impressed by the friendly attitude and helpful advice offered by the senior leaders.
Finance and defence minister Arun Jaitley explained the procedures of Parliament in English, and minister for external affairs Sushma Swaraj did the same in Hindi.
Delivering the valedictory address, party patriarch LK Advani showered lavish praise on Modi to dispel media speculation about the strained relations between the two. Advani opted the cricketing analogy and said it is usual for a player to score a century and even a double century on debut, but "Narendrabhai" had broken records by scoring a "triple ton" on debut.
He said: "In Test cricket, we have heard of players who score a century or a double century on their debut. But I do not know of any batsman who becomes a captain in the very first Test he plays and scores a triple century! This is Narendrabhai's unique achievement. As the prime ministerial candidate in his very first election, he has led the NDA to victory in more than 300 seats. The BJP on its own has won 283 seats."