|Jubilant workers outside the BJP office (top) and RJD loyalists huddle around a TV at the party office in Patna on Friday. Pictures by Nagendra Kumar Singh and Ranjeet Kumar Dey
The 8 Beer Chand Patel Marg had sniffed a win even before the EVMs were opened on Friday.
From 8 in the morning, the BJP party office was buzzing with activities. Celebrations, which started soon after the exit polls announced a favourable verdict for the NDA, continued on Friday. Ladoos came in and were gobbled up in minutes.
“More than 200kg ladoos have been sent to Saran already. We have been preparing for this day for almost a week now. Now, we have the results,” a BJP member said, seated in front of a screen, which was put up in the courtyard of the party office for people to see.
“The show will be nothing less than Nayak (the Anil Kapoor-starrer). And our Nayak is here to stay,” he added raising his hands up in the air, wearing an orange cap.
Around 300m down the road, at RJD’s 2 Beer Chand Patel Marg office, the scene was a complete contrast. Shops selling election goodies had disappeared, the office courtyard was deserted and some stray dogs were seen taking a nap at the corners of the office to save themselves from the scorching sun. However, in one of the rooms of the office, a few people had assembled.
“Switch on the air conditioner and switch on some local channels on the television. We are concerned about Bihar. There are high hopes for Rabriji and Misa. I am sure Rabriji would win. For Misa, it would be a cakewalk,” said one of them.
When informed about BJP’s 200kg ladoos for Saran, the person said: “Laluji ko jaante hai naa. (You know Laluji right?) Sab ladoo gutter me chaala jayegaa (All Ladoos will go down the drain).
At the time of filing the report, both Rabri and Misa were trailing in their respective seats.
For once after years, the RJD and the JD(U) were in the same plain. A 200m walk from the RJD office, the JD(U) headquarters wore a look which the party workers haven’t seen for many days. Not a soul could be found on the premises. When informed about the BJP’s celebration, an office-bearer of the JD(U) said: “They will definitely celebrate. They should.”
Back at the BJP office, the scene had become livelier by 12noon. Outdoor broadcasting vans had queued up and the swelling crowd cheered as the score for the BJP rose one seat every few minutes.
With the celebrations spilling onto the streets by 2pm, the RJD workers could hear the sloganeering BJP workers from their office. “Close the main door,” an RJD insider said.
A drive near 10 Circular Road, where Lalu Prasad and family live, perhaps summed up the mood of the party.
“He (Lalu) is in a lot of tension. Misa is trailing. He said she should have been leading by 25,000 votes. Rabri too was trailing by a huge margin. He is under tremendous stress,” said a party leader, who just stepped out of 10 Circular Road.
By the evening the entire Patna was in the grip of celebrations as BJP workers painted the city saffron.
When told that the RJD was keen on throwing the BJP’s Saran-bound laddoos in the drain, a party worker took to a repartee: “Let them. They don’t deserve our sweetness.”