The steel city of Jamshedpur soaked in saffron and green on the day of the Lok Sabha election results.
As counting began at the Jamshedpur Co-operative College on Friday, supporters of the BJP and the JVM raised their flags as high as possible, amid slogans laced with sarcasm.
However, the BJP camp burst into joy and celebration when the first round results trickled in from a loud speaker perched atop a pole at 10.30am. The BJP’s Bidyut Baran Mahto took a lead of 5,713 against its principal opponent JVM’s Ajoy Kumar.
BJP supporters upped the ante against JVM workers, threatening to barge into their shamiana fixed on the other side of the road. “Har-Har Modi, Ghar-Ghar Modi”, “Abki Bar Modi Sarkar” rent the air with the round-II results around 11am strengthening the party’s lead by 27,758.
The BJP supporters seemingly went berserk, forcing the police to take guard.
The heat did not deter the supporters of Mahto from dancing to the tunes of tasa and drums brought, incidentally, by the JVM workers.
“Modi ki lahar hain. Ajoy Kumar Bidyut ka connection katna chahte the khud ka kat gaya (There is a Modi wave. Ajoy Kumar wanted to snap BJP connection but himself got disconnected),” a supporter shouted at his JVM counterparts. Mahto’s lead rose to 33, 533 by 11.30am in the third round and zipped to 45,945 after the fourth round of counting.
The mood in the BJP camp was ecstatic, while JVM workers slowly began to see the writing on the wall. Mahto continued to lead the tally during the entire eight-and-a-half hours of counting exercise. He registered a lead of 61,678 after the fifth round and consolidated his position further in the sixth with a margin of 72,421 votes.
While the BJP supporters smeared each other with abir-gulal, JVM camp turned gloomy. “Ab to jitna mushkil lag raha hain. Bidut ko Modi lehar ne jita diya. (It looks difficult now. Bidyut has won because of the Modi wave),” a disheartened JVP supporter rued.
Mahto spent time inside a cool drawing room of a plush residence of his friend in CH Area. His aides predicted him figures of over 2.5 lakh victory margin. “Itne se jeet jayunga kya (Will I win with this margin),” he asked, before tucking a dhokla into his mouth. Kumar had left for his home after the counting started.
Mahto kept steam-rolling Kumar with a margin of 95,702 after the 12th and 1,01,223 votes after the 13th round, respectively.
Kumar, though, managed to put a brake on the uninterrupted margin after the 17th round, he could never took the lead. Mahto hammered the final nail in Kumar’s coffin in the 23rd and final round by winning the polls with a margin of 99,874.