With an obvious eye on gearing up things before the clamour for the assembly polls, scheduled to be held sometime during 2010 reaches a crescendo, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his cabinet colleagues would be defining afresh governance yardsticks even as they review past accomplishments aboard the steamer on Thursday, the auspicious Makar Sankranti day.
And keeping in mind the significance of the cabinet meet aboard its luxury yacht, the Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (BSTDC) managers has arranged for a truly Sankrantian repast—the choicest of aromatic Basmati flattened rice or Chura, rich and creamy sweet curd, the crispest of Tilkuts as also a variety of traditional Bihari cuisine, traditionally considered de rigueur.
The Chief Minister along with his cabinet colleagues is expected to board the yacht at around 2 pm on Thursday for the two-hour Ganga cruise—casting off from the Bankipore Club’s private jetty and leisurely taking in the sights up to the Gandhi Setu and beyond from the yacht’s appropriately-warmed restaurant even as he and his 75 guests are treated to some peculiarly Bihari repasts including fried Chura, fresh, off-the-field green gram, fried peanuts and not one but three varieties of Gaya’s famed Tilkut— crisp, flattened discs of sesame seeds and sugar, considered indispensable as a Makar Sankranti repast.
“It was just three days ago that we got a letter from the Chief Minister’s office with a request to make arrangements for a cabinet meeting involving some 75 guests aboard the MV Ganga Vihar on the Makar Sankranti day. Earlier too, we had been sounded out on whether we would be able to arrange for a cabinet meeting aboard the yacht. We are more than happy that the Chief Minister has decided upon the MV Ganga Vihar for the cabinet meet,” a senior BSTDC official unwilling to be named told HT on Wednesday.
The letter, he added, also detailed which dishes should be served to the guests while they were on board cruising along the riverfront.
The cabinet meeting, he said, is expected to last for not less than three hours. “Normally, the yacht’s luxurious cabin can comfortably seat 48 guests. But because it will be a cabinet meet that will be held aboard the yacht and also because we had to put in place certain essential systems, the cabin, at the most, can accommodate 40 guests,” he said.
A four-hour cruise, under normal circumstances, costs Rs 20,000, with foodstuffs costing extra.
Nitish had earlier held two cabinet meetings outside Patna-one at Barbighi village in Begusarai and another atop Ratnagiri hills in Bodh Gaya, where the famous World Peace Pagoda is situated.