Elections 2014: On eve of counting day, party offices tell the story
While the Congress and NCP offices at Nariman Point bore a desolate look yesterday, the BJP office was all decked up; a poster congratulating PM candidate Narendra Modi was also put up in anticipation of his victory
A day ahead of counting of the votes cast for what is arguably the most-keenly observed Lok Sabha elections in recent national history, the Congress office at Gandhi Bhavan near Mantralaya wore a subdued look.
Congress: At Gandhi Bhavan, except party spokesman Ratnakar Mahajan, no senior Congressman turned up
Rarely any senior leader paid a visit to it on Thursday. Ally NCP’s office, too, saw no party leader visit it barring the state unit chief, who sat there through a sombre afternoon.
NCP: At the NCP office, state unit chief Bhaskar Jadhav met some party workers, but the mood outside was sombre
The same afternoon, though, was bright and sunny for the BJP, which seemed ready to paint the town saffron. Preparations were on in full swing at the party office, right from erecting cutouts, setting up a podium, and arranging for snacks for visitors and well-wishers.
BJP: The air was thick with excitement at the BJP office, with workers decorating it with flags and banners; a huge poster even went to the extent of congratulating the PM aspirant Narendra Modi. Pics/Atul Kamble
Gloom before doom?
The state is witnessing nail-biting finishes for some of its 48 Lok Sabha constituencies. According to the exit polls, it is going to be the worst ever performance in the general election by the Congress, which has contested 27 seats, and is hoping to retain at least the 17 it won in 2009.
At Gandhi Bhavan, except party spokesman Ratnakar Mahajan, no senior Congressman turned up. It was quiet except for the toned-down chitchat of office employees.
The BJP party offices in Nariman Point was charged up in anticipation. Pics/Atul Kamble
The NCP, for its part, has made all-out efforts to maintain its 2009 tally of eight seats. The party is in the fray for 21 seats. At its office, state chief Bhaskar Jadhav met some party workers and media persons and told them he was going to reach the party office at around 6.30 am on Friday.
Anticipating big win
In contrast, state headquarters of BJP saw a flurry of prematurely euphoric activity, with senior leaders such as state chief Devendra Fadnavis, Ram Naik, MLA Yogesh Sagar, ex-MLAs Raj Purohit and Atul Shah holding discussions over celebrations on Friday.
The party has arranged for huge LCD screens at strategic locations, such as party HQ, Colaba market and CP Tank, to enable people to get live updates on the results.
Laddus, cake ready
“I have increased the order for laddus and it is going to be 40,000 pieces,” he beamed. “A cake with a lotus design — the party symbol and PM candidate Narendra Modi’s image has been ordered,” he said.
“A small podium has been created at the party office where leaders will be interacting with party and media persons. A 15-foot cutout is going to be installed at the office,” a party worker informed spokesman Madhav Bhandari. “It’s going to be a hectic day for us. I am expected to commute between news channel studios and the party office,” Fadnavis said.
The same goes for Bhandari, as he has been asked to be present for live coverage at nine different studios of the channels. As a board at the entrance was being cleaned, Bhandari joked that the dusting was “being done after so many days”, evoking laughs from his party workers.