THE makeshift venue of the conclave in the outskirts of Indore: The Kushabhau Thakre Gram was given a look of real village. Cows, goats, hens were near the Pyarelal Khandelwal auditorium, where national executive was in progress.
To give a complete feel of village, the auditorium at the venue was prepared with mud and straw. Bicycles were provided to the executive members. The members were seen going out during lunch break on the bicycles.
The organisers laid tapped water pipeline and sewer pipelines in all the tents. Over 1,300 tents were erected at the venue, including 25 for VVIPs. There were special tents for Chief Ministers of all the BJP-ruled States, and special stay arrangements were made for women workers who had reached from different States.
As many as 24 luxurious, Cox & King-type of tents were put up for the VVIPS, while hundreds of other, smaller tents were erected to house the other leaders. The entire drainage and sewage-disposal system was re-laid in the area, and new furniture, bathroom equipment, linen were used to ensure a comfortable stay for the leaders.
But since the entire effort was to remind the leaders of the need to go back to their roots and rediscover India, an attempt was made to give a rural touch to the entire place. And instead of glasses, earthen pots were used. All this, it was explained, was also done to preserve the area’s ecological balance.
All this, of course, must have cost the party quite a fortune, much more than a normal event of this scale, throwing to the wind all claims of austerity. Services of over a thousand vehicles were requisitioned to transport the 5,000 delegates to the venue.
Lal Krishna Advani said this was the fourth such gathering being held in such surroundings.
The Jan Sangh’s second national executive, held in Kanpur way back in 1953, was held in tents.
So were the meetings held subsequently in Patna and the national capital’s Ramlila Maidan. But all these took place during the party’s earlier avatar.
Folk dancers from tribal areas, including Bhagoriya Dhar were also invited to exhibit their art.
All the executive members of the party participating in the national executive meeting were dressed in dhoti-kurta and put on colourful Malwi turban. The specially dressed volunteers (security guards) were also centre of attraction. Carrying lathis, they were deployed at the main gate and entrances of all the auditoriums.
Making the campus eco-friendly, the organisers used battery and CNG-propelled vehicles from main gate to the tents of party leaders.