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Same road to joy & sorrow

Patna, Nov. 25: The day after the verdict, a street in Bihar capital reflected the political picture of the state. With offices of three major political parties on its 200m stretch, Beer Chand Patel Path was witness to celebrations and despondency — same time, same day.

Flanked by the offices of the JD (U) and the BJP, the RJD headquarters on Beer Chand Patel Path sported a deserted look. While thousands jostled for space on the road outside the JD (U) and the BJP offices, it was curfew-like situation near the RJD office on the same road.

The JD (U) office was crammed with enthusiastic supporters and party leaders who gathered there to celebrate the victory of their party. The supporters cheered for Nitish and called him Vikas Purush (the leader of development). The newly elected members of the Assembly arrived one by one for their first legislative party meeting. Their smiling faces revealed their success story.

The gates of the office were barred to prevent any commotion but that did not dampen the celebration mood.

The only time the crowd tried to break in was when Nitish Kumar arrived. The chief minister stepped out of his vehicles waving at his supporters and smiling like the winner he is. After a 20-minute rest Nitish disappeared into the conference hall for a meeting. The crowd outside kept swelling. The celebrations increased.

The scene was not very different 200m away at the office of the BJP. As cameras flashed, newly elected MLAs arrived to celebrate their victory. Garlands and bouquets of all shapes, colours and sizes added fragrance to the celebrations, as innumerable boxes of sweets were passed around.

Between these two bright ends, there was a black hole in the middle.

The office of the RJD wore a deserted look. A garland of flags put up before the elections still dangled but they fluttered in the cold wind like flags of defeat. Only a few policemen stood guard outside. “We are here to prevent any flare-up,” said one of them.

Some of the RJD workers who did come looked crestfallen. “Kya baat karna hain? There is nothing to talk about,” said one of them.

They could hear the sound of celebrations at the two ends of the road clearly.

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