BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday hosted a power lunch very few could put together in the current political scenario as the big guns of the east enjoyed a sumptuous spread of Odia delicacies along with Union Home Minister Amit Shah. There were no political differences on display as Naveen treated Shah, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee and Union Steel and PNG Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to lunch at Naveen Nivas.
Jharkhand Finance Minister Rameshwar Oraon, who represented the State in the meeting in the absence of Chief Minister Hemant Soren, did not join them though.
Shah and Mamata, who frequently spar over CAA, NRC and NPR issues, sat facing each other at the lunch. Except for a mention of the Delhi riots by Mamata at the EZC meeting, sweetness prevailed between the leaders.
The food was typically Odia and cooked at Naveen Nivas. It was served in a simple, minimalistic style. The menu included rice, dal, baigan fry, aloo mutter masala, gucchi paneer, tomato chutney, papad, roti, boondi raita and fish curry (Odia besar). The delicious chhena poda and ras malai as dessert completed the meal.Mamata, though had only ‘raita’ for lunch. “I joined the lunch together with respected Home Minister, respected Naveenji and respected Nitishji,” she said.
While there was no official word on what the leaders spoke during the meal, the picture of Shah and Mamata sharing a lunch set the political circles abuzz. “Such a pleasure having the company of Union Home Minister Amit Shahji, my colleague CMs, Mamata Banerjee and Nitish Kumarji and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan at Naveen Nivas. Had a wonderfully interactive time over some home cooked Odia delicacies,” Naveen said in a tweet.
The food was prepared by two cooks of Naveen Nivas.
On the plate
Rice and dal
Aloo mutter masala