The countdown for the one-day session of the All-India Congress Committee (AICC) on Saturday began with the Special Protection Group (SPG) inspecting the Talkatora indoor stadium complex and giving its go-ahead for erecting a stage as also special arrangements for the day-long stay of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and Congress president Sonia Gandhi at the venue. On the other hand, the Delhi Congress which is hosting the AICC session, has prepared a detailed menu to cater to the taste buds of its party workers from across the country- Chinese, south Indian and inevitably north Indian. Chandni Chowk cuisine would be a special attraction.
According to sources, a high-level meeting attended by senior Congress leaders, including Delhi unit chief Jai Prakash Agarwal, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and incharge of Delhi affairs Ashok Gehlot reviewed the preparations and also finalized the menu. It includes an eclectic variety selected from all parts of the country .Jalebi, bedmipuri, kachauri, sandwiches, sambar vada, idli, uthapam and noodles would be served for breakfast. Chowmein, dal arhar, dal makhni, Amrtisari naan, shahi paneer, sarson ka saag, roti (tava, tandoori and missi), mix vegetables, kofta, masala dosa, korma, with desserts and all several varieties of chaat and fruits would be on the menu for lunch and dinner. Member of food committee, Rajinder Mallik said that the party leadership had approved the menu for the delegates.
Chairpersons of all the 20 committees constituted by the Delhi Congress to oversee the various aspects were also present. Congress leaders also favoured that seating arrangements should be made 15 feet away from the stage instead of the mandatory 25 feet, as the event was an internal affair of the party. It is understood that the SPG personnel had told the Congress leaders that they would not allow seating arrangements for delegates within 25 feet of the stage, which would be occupied by Dr. Singh and Gandhi. However, party leaders opined that this would leave little room for the seating of delegates inside the hall and therefore the distance should only be 15 feet.