Scenes of contrast: BJP celebrates, gloom in Congress, AAP camps

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New Delhi, March 11 (IANS) Chants of “Har-har Modi” rent the air at the BJP headquarters here as the party was on Saturday set to form governments in two states, while exploring possibilities in two other states where it polled second.

In sharp contrast, a pall of gloom descended over the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) offices following their worse-than-expected showing in the assembly elections.

As election results and trends started pouring in since early morning, the entire Ashoka Road-located BJP headquarters was soaked in elation with loud slogan shouting.

Slogans got louder every time the two giant-sized television screens placed inside and outside the office premises showed the BJP swiftly rising to power in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, and running neck-and-neck with the Congress party in Manipur and Goa.

The jubilant BJP supporters with faces smeared with “Abeer” (coloured powder) shook hands, hugged and greeted each other and danced to the beats of traditional drums and bands.

Some supporters also blew conches, burst crackers and distributed sweets.

A group of eight BJP supporters skilled in playing different rhythms on drums on festive occasions had reached the BJP headquarters in the morning from Banchari village in Haryana — almost 100 kilometre from the national capital — to be part of the celebrations.

“I was confident that the BJP will win. I am happy,” one of the band members, Satvir Chaudhary, told IANS.

Cheerful BJP leaders visiting the party office were seen giving credit for the party’s astounding victory to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s excellent work done for the common people as well as the demonetisation move.

BJP General Secretary Bhupendra Yadav said: “The credit goes to our Prime Minister’s work and the government’s demonetisation move.”

Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, who visited the party head office, said it was not just one or two months’ work that led us to the victory, the party had been working on every aspect since 2015.

The 24 Akbar Road Congress headquarters wore a deserted look even as the trends showed the party’s clear majority in Punjab.

Unlike past years’ experience on vote counting days, there was no arrangement of large television screens for visitors and the party leaders as well as supporters could be hardly found there.

A group of Youth Congress supporters, however, tried to create a cheerful atmosphere in the afternoon by bursting crackers and raising slogans like “Rahul Gandhi Zindabad” and “Sonia Gandhi Zindabad”, but the indication was that the top party leaders were not happy with the overall results.

A few Congress leaders met media persons at the party headquarters. They slammed the BJP for befooling the public by luring them with false promises, and tried to parry questions on the party’s performance in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

“The BJP won elections in UP because of selling dreams and the reality will come soon when they fail in delivering these dreams,” Congress leader Tom Vadakkan told IANS.

On the party’s humiliating defeat in Uttarakhand, Vadakkan said the core section of the Congress had joined the BJP, which “really affected us”.

Just after it became clear that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had lost badly in Punjab and Goa, gloom enveloped Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence and the party’s headquarters at 206 Rouse Avenue here.

Ever since the February 4 voting in both states, the AAP was supremely confident of taking office in Punjab, although its claims were muted vis-a-vis Goa.

Shock and disappointment was writ large on everyone’s face. Many refused to speak to journalists.

As the day progressed, arrangements made for the announcement of election results were removed. In Goa, the AAP fared much worse, with not a single seat falling in its kitty.

A large television screen placed outside Kejriwal’s residence displaying the live trends and results was also switched off later in the day.

(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at [email protected])

–IANS

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