The stage is set for Narendra Modi’s grand, glittering swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan today. In few hours from now, President Ram Nath Kovind will administer oath to Modi and several other top leaders. The ceremony will be attended by record 8,000 guests. The dignitaries include business tycoon Mukesh Ambani, Bill Gates, several Bollywood icons like Kangana Ranaut and head of state of BIMSTEC nations. While most of the day was spent on the political buzz of who all will be part of the Modi cabinet, many are interested to know what exactly will be served to the guests at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The eclectic mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian food items include sumptuous spread of traditional Indian delicacies.
The high tea will be largely a veg affair. It will include lemon tarts, samosas and sandwiches, Rajbhog along with green tea and south Indian coffee. The dinner, however, will also include non-veg cuisines. The highlight of the dinner will be ‘Dal Raisina.’ It is a slow-cooked lentil dish that originated in the kitchens of the Rashtrapati Bhavan itself. The dal takes more than 48 hours to prepare. Resident Chef MU Kasture said that it is prepared using ma ki daal (or the black dal) that is a part of a number of vegetarian feasts in India
The swearing-in ceremony will be of about 90 minutes and after that a dinner will be served to around 40 dignitaries, including Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and the prime minister, besides leaders of all BIMSTEC countries, Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson Ashok Malik said Wednesday. "This is for the first time that 8,000 guests will be attending the swearing-in ceremony that will be held from 7 pm to 8.30 pm on Thursday," Mailk said. He said it will be the biggest event held in Rashtrapati Bhavan.
About 4,500-5,000 guests have attended such ceremonies earlier. There will be light snacks for the guests attending the swearing-in ceremony like 'Paneer Tikka', the official said. "There will be a dinner which will be hosted by the president for about 40 guests. It will begin at 9 pm," the official added.
President of Bangladesh Abdul Hamid, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, and Prime Minister of Nepal K P Sharma Oli have confirmed their participation at the ceremony. President of Myanmar U Win Myint and Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering have also confirmed their attendance at the event. From Thailand, its Special Envoy Grisada Boonrach will represent the country at the ceremony.
Last time in 2014,the appetisers include chilled melon soup, Chicken Hazari, Mutton Galouti Kebab and tandoori aloo. In the main course, the guests were served Kerala prawns stew, Chicken Chettinad, Birbali kofta curry, Jaipuri Bhindi, Kela methi nu shaak and Potoler dorma.