02/03/2015 5:58 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Modi's Lunch At Parliament Cafeteria Costs Just Rs 29

A supporter wears a t-shirt with a portrait of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and India’s next prime minister Narendra Modi and eats a meal at the canteen of the BJP party office in New Delhi, Friday, May 16, 2014. Modi and his party won national elections in a landslide Friday, preliminary results showed, driving the long-dominant Congress party out of power in the most commanding victory India has seen in more than a quarter century. Writing on banner reads

NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi had lunch at the Parliament cafeteria today, and his bill came to a grand total of Rs 29, thanks to subsidized food.

Prime Ministers are not a usual sight in the first-floor cafeteria, and Modi's arrival surprised other members of parliament who were having lunch at 1 pm.

Around 18 MPs were having lunch, sitting in small groups on different tables when Modi arrived. Some of them came to introduce themselves, according to the canteen staff.

"Anything special, sir," canteen in-charge B L Purohit asked the Prime Minister. "No, I want normal vegetarian thali," Modi replied. He also ordered fruit salad. A thali, consisting of palak sabzi, rajma, dal and salad, was served along with rice and a tandoori roti. "The total bill for the food was Rs 29," said waiter Rama Shankar who attended on the Prime Minister.

Modi was there for about 20-25 minutes. Two of the MPs on Modi's table were from Gujarat. Union Minister Piyush Goyal also joined in after some time. Realising that it was a "historic" occasion, Purohit requested the Prime Minister to write in a 'Suggestion Book' which he presented to him. "Anna data, sukhi bhav (Blessings to the one who feeds)," wrote Modi in Hindi and signed it.

According to sources in Parliament, this was the first time any Prime Minister had lunch in the canteen as a customer. Rajiv Gandhi had once eaten in the canteen but not as Prime Minister, the sources said.