NEW DELHI: As Prime Minister Narendra Modi took his seat, the air of Rashtrapati Bhavan resonated with pro-Modi chants and the space was filled with celebrities from cine stars Salman Khan with father Salim Khan to Vivek Oberoi--for the first on the same side.
Poonom Dillion resplendent in a pink sari and stunning BJP Mathura MP Hema Malini with husband Dharmendra. Lyricist-MP Javed Akhtar and pulp-writer Chetan Bharat, a number of Congress/UPA Ministers, including P Chidambaram, an oddly smiling Jairam Ramesh, Pallam Raju; NCP chief Sharad Pawar with Praful Patel.
His party’s Rajya Sabha MP D T Tripathi was also there with Majid Memon. And among their midst, an unshaven Rahul Gandhi, looking too sombre, perhaps thinking of the missed opportunity. Mukesh Ambani’s wife Neeta was not just present, she was seen working the crowds. Both Ambanis had come, but mother Kokilaben came with his younger son Anil and daughter-in-law Tina.
Ranbaxy chief Malvinder, Future Group founder Kishore Biyani, team India captain M S Dhoni and Little Master Sunil Gavaskar were mobbed for autographs as they strode in. Among the spiritual leaders, most notable presence was that of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. BJP veterans L K Advani with daughter Pratibha, M M Joshi; RSS leaders, Dattatrya Hosbale, Ram Madhav; VHP leader Ashok Singhal and Indresh Kumar.