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Poll fever empties Jamshedpur roads

Slippers seller Rajib Kumar Tudu could not spend the day at home following vote-counting trends on television because he had to open his Sakchi shop. However, he spent half the day staring at a nearby giant screen that was flashing the results.

“Election result dekhna to bahut zaroori tha, humlog kitne din se intezaar kar rahe the (Election results were very important, we were waiting for it),” said Rajib, adding that he left his shop every half an hour to check out the latest trends.

Shopkeepers like Rajib were not the only ones who remained preoccupied with Lok Sabha election results on Friday. Steel city roads and parking areas in commercial hubs like Sakchi wore a deserted look as most citizens stayed indoors to track trends on television.

While television showrooms witnessed a rush of result trackers, owners of other shops rued that the counting kept customers away.

Sab TV dekh rahe hai. Kaun aayega samaan kharidne. Roz ke muqaable aaj customer kam hai (Everybody is watching TV at home. Customers are less compared to other days),” said Iqbal Ansari, who owns a crockery shop in Sakchi market.

Some shopkeepers, anticipating lack of customers, opened their stores late. “I usually open my shop around 10am, but on Friday I knew there would be less buyers. I opened the shop at 11am,” said Anil Biswas, a grocery shopowner on Dimna Road in Mango.

A section of professionals took a day’s leave to enjoy the election results at home. Some even went to Jamshedpur Co-operative College — the counting centre for Jamshedpur Lok Sabha seat — to witness the contest closely.

Tata Steel employee Joydeep Dubey (30) said youngsters took a lot of interest in the election results. “It’s first time that youths were more excited about May 16 than Feb 14 (Valentine’s Day) or an IPL match. All these days, we had arguments regarding who would win. Friendly bets were placed as well. Now, all the fun has come to an end. What is important is that Narendra Modi, despite being a senior citizen, has struck a chord with young voters,” he said.

The BJP district office in Sakchi wore a jubilant look. While most workers were at the strongroom, those who stayed back were busy preparing for celebrations. The party had ordered 300kg of laddoos from Jalebi Line in Sakchi. Crackers worth Rs 20,000 were kept ready.

“We ordered 300kg special laddoos for celebrating our victory. We prepared beforehand as we were confident of winning here and across the country,” said Narender Singh Nindi, a party worker.


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