The 'foodie' side of Vajpayee, from Gwalior's Gajjak to Kanpur's 'Thaggu ke Laddu'
New Delhi, Aug 17: Now that Atal Bihari Vajpayee, one of the tallest leaders in Indian politics, has passed away, people across the country are fondly recalling almost every aspect of the former prime minister's life.
From his eloquent speeches to witty remarks, from his famous poems to his likes and dislikes, people want to know everything about the late leader whose charismatic persona left a lasting impression on everyone.
Among many things that he was, Vajpayee was a connoisseur of food. He loved good food and never tried to hide the fact that he ate non-veg. He relished biriyani and halim from Hyderabad and Lucknow's famous Galoti kebabs.
Vajpayee was also known for his sweet tooth and absolutely loved laddoos from Kanpur's famous 'Thaggu ke Laddu'.
"Whenever BJP leaders in Kanpur used to go to meet him they would get laddoos packed for him. He loved food," the owner of Thaggu ke Laddoo told news agency ANI.
His special fondness for the 'pedas' of Lucknow's chowk area and Gajjak from Gwalior was not a hidden fact. Several people who visited him in Delhi often carried the sweet for him.
As per a PTI report, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu used to bring him prawns from Andhra Pradesh. The former PM also liked chaats and Samosas, and some say that hew would have them despite being unwell.
When Vajpayee hosted lunch for then Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf at Delhi's Taj Palace hotel in 2001, renowned chef Hemant Oberoi was summoned to the table. Vajpayee gestured towards Musharraf who wasn't eating. It was only when Oberoi assured Musharraf that the food was halal that he ate, said a TOI report.
Vajpayee breathed his last at 5.05 pm on Thursday. The last rites of the former prime minister will take place at 4 pm on Friday at Rashtriya Smriti Sthal in New Delhi.