Many in party circles and among journalists have come to describe the BJP’s annual Diwali get-together as “selfie divas”. Not as many as on previous Diwali get-togethers, but there were enough journalists this time as well, who requested the PM for a selfie. Apart from Narendra Modi, the other star attraction at the event was Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Journalists asked her about how she taught Chinese soldiers to say “namaste” during her visit to the Nathu La border in Sikkim earlier this month.
She said it was not rehearsed, but something she did on the spur of the moment. She was also asked about her meeting with the visiting French Defence Minister Florence Parly, and how it felt to be part of a “rare tribe”. Sitharaman said it was true there are only a handful of women defence ministers in the world, and barely half a dozen who are full-fledged defence ministers as against those responsible for only a particular area within the ministry.