Rashtrapati Bhawan ‘At Home’ indoors if it rains Friday

August 14th, 2008 - 9:56 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil

New Delhi, Aug 14 (IANS) The customary reception on Independence Day hosted by President Pratibha Patil at the Rashtrapati Bhawan will be shifted indoors if Thursday’s incessant rain continues Friday, an official said. According to the official, the rain will not be allowed to play spoilsport at the bi-annual At Home that is normally held on the lush green lawns of the Mughal Gardens.

“We will be shifting all the guests (indoors) and the snacks will be served at the Ashoka Hall, the Durbar Hall and the Banquet Hall,” Rashtrapati Bhawan spokesperson Archana Datta told IANS.

More than 4,000 guests - including the Who’s Who of the capital - have been invited for Friday’s reception.

Datta asserted that nothing would come in the way of the reception being held on schedule.

“We have also arranged around 600 umbrellas to escort the guests from the parking lots. The Rashtrapati Bhavan staff will be positioned at all the alighting points to escort the guests inside,” Datta added.

The menu will also be as attractive as ever.

There will be fish Amritsari and chicken tikka for non-vegetarians, while the vegetarians can feast on paneer shashlik, moongdal samosas, vegetable pizzas, plum cake, rajbhog, kala jamun and assorted cookies.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, senior ministers, bureaucrats and members of the diplomatic corps will be among those who will attend the reception.

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