The city is decked up like a queen, poke marks on roads have vanished

The Pink City is excited about the hosting of the 10 Pravasi Bharatiya Divas starting here on Saturday.

The city is decked up like a queen and the poke marks on the roads and rubbish on the sidewalks have vanished as if some magician has made them disappear with a sway of his band.

Overnight a thousand flowers have bloomed in gardens and on the city's roundabouts though spring is still away and the winter is harsh.

On the eve of the beginning of the festivities — which would last a month almost with the much talked about Jaipur Literature Festival taking over the thought and action part of it all from January 20 for five days — the citizens looked almost out of the trauma of the recent 10-day-long strike by the government doctors and the power cuts.

The city at night looked glistening awash in the glow of lights.

The newly washed Hawa Mahal — what if it took away some of the pink colour of the 18 century structure — looked almost askance in the new texture. The omnipresent policemen on the streets too looked extra polite.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who appeared pleased with himself over the preparations — and the boost his government received when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is reaching here to inaugurate the event, agreeing to spare time for a separate meeting on Rajasthan — told journalists that the State was hosting the event not for attracting investments.

“Not for business”

“There is a lot of excitement in the State over the event but believe me we are not doing it for the sake of business. Our aim is to bring together people of Indian origin and introduce them to the rich culture of Rajasthan,” Mr. Gehlot said. “Investments are only part of such gatherings,” he said, pointing out that even during the Resurgent Rajasthan held here a few years ago bringing together Non resident Rajasthanis, the State did not outrightly seek investments.

The meeting with the Prime Minister to discuss Rajasthan exclusively, scheduled for an hour, will take place at the Raj Bhawan on Sunday.

Mr. Gehlot, the members of his Council of Ministers and the Parliamentary Secretaries will participate.

“We will make a projection on three years of the present government. We will seek the Prime Minister's blessings and also financial support,” Mr. Gehlot said.

More In: National | News