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Pune hotelier recalls Vajpayee’s fondness for ‘kanda pohe’

Dattatray Chitale, owner of Shreyas Dining Hall where Vajpayee used to camp while in Pune, had many memories and anecdotes to share about the former PM.

pune Updated: Aug 17, 2018 15:13 IST
Abhay Khairnar
Abhay Khairnar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Kanda Pohe,Atal Bihari Vajpayee
(From left) Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar, Hotel Shreyas owner Dattatray Chitale and Atal Bihari Vajpayee at Hotel Shreyas in Pune. (HT File Photo )

Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was extremely fond of the simple Maharashtrian dish ‘Kanda Pohe’, made of flattened rice, onions and peanuts, and whenever he visited the city, he never missed a chance to enjoy his favourite snack. At times, he even had it packed to take it with him to New Delhi.

Dattatray Chitale, owner of Shreyas Dining Hall where Vajpayee used to camp while in Pune, had many memories and anecdotes to share about the former PM.

“On one occasion, Vajpayeeji was staying at Blue Diamond Hotel and I went there to deliver Kanda Pohe to him. The security guard stopped me from entering his room and I said, a bit loudly, that I had brought Pohe for Vajpayeeji. He heard that and immediately instructed the security guard to allow me to enter his room,” said Chitale.

The hotelier shared another anecdote about Vajpayee’s interest in readymade ‘dhotis’- the traditional Indian attire worn by men- which had become easily available in Pune. Vajpayee would carry these from Pune for distribution to party workers and Chitale would organise it for him as per his requirement.

BJP leaders and activists in the city recalled the elderly statesman’s visits to the Pune Municipal Corporation, the inauguration of the famous Chhatrapati Sambhaji statue at Deccan Gymkhana’s Garware bridge and one of his early rallies near Prabhat Cinema when he helped the volunteers to arrange tables and chairs on the dais.

First Published: Aug 17, 2018 14:50 IST