Modi obliged almost all those who made their way through the crowd around him to click a photographs, have a word with him or shake hands. However, like last time, he refrained from answering questions.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi poses for a selfie with reporters during ‘Diwali Mangal Milan’ at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi on Saturday

PTI
Around a year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first interaction with the media at the BJP headquarters, not much seemed to have changed. Minutes after he made a brief address and got off the dais to interact with his guests, there was jostling for selfies.Modi obliged almost all those who made their way through the crowd around him to click a photographs, have a word with him or shake hands. However, like last time, he refrained from answering questions.Notwithstanding whatever criticism may have been in the media over recent days, his charisma appeared intact at the “Diwali Milan” lunch hosted for journalists on Saturday. The Prime Minister’s security staff had a difficult time handling the crowds scrambling to get near him for selfies on mobile phones.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Modi’s interaction with the media came on a relaxed afternoon, a day after two hectic days in Parliament, when he attended a debate on the Constitution and BR Ambedkar.On a foggy but pleasant Saturday afternoon, Modi, wearing a white kurta-pyjama and beige shawl arrived at 11, Ashoka Road. In a rare gesture, the office staff was among the party leaders who greeted Modi with bouquets.In his brief address from the dais, he spoke of the importance of festivals in the country and how they symbolised unity and equality. He said that the ‘Diwali Milan’ got postponed because he was busy and added jokingly that if it was delayed further “we would have to wait till Christmas.”He said festivals gave direction and strength to Indian society. “I can’t imagine the number of stories that can be churned if we analyse the social and economic impact of our festivals in our society. If you take the Kumbh Mela for example, a small Europe comes and assembles by the Ganga every day going by the numbers.”Our ancestors gave meaning and strength to festivals in a way that there is no discrimination in them,” he said.Before that, party president Amit Shah referred to the debate in Parliament and said the “parliament unanimously has given a new height to the Constitution.”Besides Shah, finance minister Arun Jaitley, parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu and transport minister Nitin Gadkari shared dais with Modi.This was the second time since he took over as Prime Minister that Modi met media persons at a ‘Diwali Milan’ programme at the party headquarters.

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Media persons jostle for selfies with PM, again