Poll results have Indians glued to small screen

May 16th, 2009 - 1:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, May 16 (IANS) A majority of Indians were hooked to the small screen Saturday as the election results poured in. People switched channels by the minute to watch the fast-changing leads and the country’s biggest political drama reach a climax.
The kitchen took a backseat in homemamker Trisha Mukherjee’s three-roomed apartment in Greater Kailash-II (GK-II) in south Delhi. Her sons, who are home on holiday and husband Aroon Mukherjee, an executive in a multinational company, were glued to the television.

“We had a hurried breakfast - a couple of pizzas delivered from an eatery nearby. We have been watching the results trickling in,” Trisha, the former principal of a school in Kolkata who has been living in the capital for the past five years, told IANS.

“It has changed. Earlier, the process of computing the tallies were so time-taking. The television used to flash trends, early and late leads throughout the day till the evening. Now it’s nail biting and so fast,” she said.

Husband Aroon felt the fast-track results have been made possible by the electronic voting machines.

At around 10 a.m., the mood was jubilant at the Arora home in south Delhi’s Kalkaji area.

“I can’t believe that the Congress has swept Delhi,” Raj Arora, the 78-year-old patriarch of the household, told IANS.

He has been monitoring the tally on the huge 103-inch flat-screen TV in his sprawling office-cum-residence.

“It’s just 10 a.m. and we almost have all the results in,” said wife Saroj, who was also hooked to the TV along with their two sons and daughters-in-law.

“I love hearing the poll analysis and the bytes from the politicians. It gives me a perspective to what is happening in the country,” she said.

The excitement was not limited to homes. At an electronics goods shop in M-Block market of Greater Kailash-1, there was a big huddle of onlookers, trying to grab the results from the rows of TVs inside.

“It has been like this since we opened the shop at 9 a.m. Even our employees inside are hooked to the TV,” laughed a salesman.

“I did not expect the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) to lead by such a huge margin,” said Ram Bihari Singh, a hawker in M-Block market, who was watching the results on TV outside the shop.

“It is such a huge democratic machinery. I wonder how the votes are counted on EVMs in so many constituencies spread across all the states in your country. I am amazed at the logistics and the efficiency of the Indian television channels,” Milton White, an expatriate living in GK-II, told IANS.

Eighty-nine-year old Mohanlal Makhijani woke up at 7.30 a.m. Saturday to catch the results on his television. “Thank god, the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) has not come back to power,” he laughed.

At the Congress, BJP and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) party offices in the capitals, hundreds of party workers were glued to television sets since 7 a.m.

News channels like Times Now, Star News, CNN-IBN, NDTV and Aaj Tak had roped in panels of senior journalists, celebrities and political analysts to dissect the verdict and explain the trends.

At Cafe Coffee Day outlets, huge flatscreen television sets were installed to beam the ongoing IPL (Indian Premier League) matches. But demands by customers, mostly college students and young professionals, forced the staff to switch to news channels telecasting poll results.

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