Music, merrymaking and Modi - city nightclubs and pubs are gearing up for an unusual New Year's Eve programme. Bars and restaurants plan to organise a special screening of the Prime Minister's address to the nation at 7.30 pm on Saturday that coincides with the expiry of the 50-day period of post-demonetisation pain he had asked people to endure "for the sake of the country".
"We would love to show the live coverage of Modi's speech at this point of time when people were standing in queues for the past two months, said Siddharth Kumar, culture manager at Social-Cafe and Bar. "Our customers would be keen to listen to the speech. Accordingly, we will plan something."
In a similar televised address on November 8, the PM had announced a surprise ban on 500 and 1,000-rupee notes in a bid to eliminate corruption and unaccounted cash. The deadline for depositing old notes in bank accounts ends on December 30. Bar managers say many customers are booking tables after asking about the arrangements for Modi's speech.
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"Apart from getting updates from YouTube, Twitter and news portals, people would be more comfortable watching the announcement on the screens. So we would keep the option of screening it.
And on the customers demand we will telecast Modi's speech," said Kamaljeet Kaur, manager of The Vault Cafe in Connaught Place. Representatives at another pub said they have a satellite connection and two projectors ready. "But for New Year's Eve we have arranged live music. However, we are keeping the screening option open for our customers," said a representative at The Flying Saucer Cafe in Nehru Place. People who party at home but wish to hear Modi may switch to Doordarshan or news channels.
Sources say the Prime Minister is expected to speak on demonetisation and may announce a bouquet of sops. The police department will also be more alert to deal with any fallout of the PM's address. "Those pubs and restaurants facilitating the special screening of Modi's speech will be contacted and accordingly adequate police personnel will be deployed," said a senior police officer.