No celebrations on Sonia Gandhi's birthday today

The area outside the party office and her residence had more mediapersons and policemen than visitors and supporters. 

Yesterday, the party said that Gandhi will not be celebrating her birthday in view of the demise of Nelson Mandela. The country is observing a five-day state mourning since Friday as a mark of respect to the late South African leader.

Party sources insisted that the decision was not linked to the assembly election results.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi. File pic

Brijalal Thakur (51), a Badarpur resident, who has been selling accessories like Congress flags, badges, scarves, muffler, diaries and directories outside the party office and Gandhi's residence, however, held the party's defeat as reason for non-celebrations and his low business.

Until noon, he said he was able to sell only two directories, of which one was of Congress while other was a government directory.

"There were no people today. The place is usually buzzing on Sonia Gandhi's birthday, but today it is deserted. Party haar gayi na, iskeliye (the party's defeat is the reason)," Thakur said.

Even Durga Prasad (40), a resident of Khajuri and a self-confessed die-hard Congress supporter who has been selling party accessories outside its office for his livelihood since 2001 said, "Whenever, the party does good, we are able to sell off things, but if results are like yesterdays then we have a bad day."

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