Euphoria in Congress headquarters, gloom over BJP’s (Second Lead)

May 16th, 2009 - 9:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Rahul Gandhi New Delhi, May 16 (IANS) The mood in the headquarters of the two national parties told its own tale Saturday.
In one the rich and resounding beat of dhol-nagadas rent the air to usher in an aura of festivity as the news of the sweeping victory poured into the Congress headquarters at 24, Akbar Road.

Congress supporters thronged in large numbers to the party office from far and near to take part in the jubilation at the party’ sweeping win. Young and old party workers chanted slogans and expressed their desire to see Rahul Gandhi as the next prime minister.

“Rahul Gandhi should be the prime minister.” shouted a young party worker, as many others burst into the ‘Jai Ho!’ frenzy.

Supporters chanted ‘Indira Gandhi Zindabad’, ‘Sonia Gandhi Zindabad’ and ‘Jai ho’ slogans.

Sixty-five-year-old Kamlesh Narain Rai, a member of the Nehru Brigade, reached the party office with 50 supporters and drummers.

“We are very happy that Congress has won. We wanted and we knew that Congress will win,” Rai told IANS. Clad in white khadi kurta-pyjama and trademark Gandhi cap, he was breaking into a dance every now and then.

As others joined him in dancing, an elated Rai added: “We know that Manmohan Singh is going to be the prime minister, but if Rahul Gandhi becomes the prime minister the Congress will come back with full majority in the next elections.”

The Congress’ stunning victory is being attributed to the countrywide campaigning by party general secretary Rahul Gandhi. And the hordes of supporters were seen hailing him and his mother, party president Sonia Gandhi.

Guddi Panditani along with her 10-year-old grandson Azad came from her Minto Road residence.

“We are very happy that Congress has won. It does not matter as to who will become the prime minister but Congress should form the government,” Panditani said.

Sikh supporters of the Congress were also seen in large numbers.

“All Sikhs have full faith in Congress because Sonia has given the reins of the country in the hands of a Sikh (Manmohan Singh). Sikhs have forgotten 1984 riots and they have full confidence in Sonia and Manmohan Singh’s leadership,” 46-year-old Inderjeet Singh said.

Raziya Tukmange, 40-year-old Congress worker from Chandni Chowk, said: “I am extremely happy. It is like the joy of a son’s victory. Muslims have tested every party and Congress has done the best work.”

‘Havans’ (fire rituals) were held outside the Congress office from early morning by 19-year-old hardcore supporter, who went by the name of Prince Singh. He said he was organising these public prayers for a “Congress sweep and development for the country”.

However, gloom descended on the headquarters of the BJP at 11, Ashoka Road, with party supporters looking glum and disbelieving. Many of their leaders like V.K. Malhotra, Balbir Punj and others were huddled together but had no reactions for the pestering media. Party general secretary Arun Jaitley came for a little while, held a news conference, and promptly left.

The otherwise bustling BJP office here wore a deserted look Saturday, with leaders and party workers staying away as election results came in signalling its defeat.

With no crowds to manage, policemen were seen relaxing in the shade and the hawkers waited in vain for their customers. Even mediapersons slowly started drifting away to the Congress office.

“I have heard that there are big celebrations going on outside the Congress office at Akbar Road. But here I don’t have anyone to buy my chanas (grams). I am going to Akbar Road (Congress headquarters) for better business,” said 15-year-old street vendor Rambahadur.

Hundreds of party workers who used to throng the BJP office till Friday gave it a miss Saturday.

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