A ban on victory procession did not dishearten party workers or garland sellers
A large gathering congregated outside Rozario School where the counting was taking place, and expectedly, flags were raised, slogans shouted out, and finger whistles blown every time a candidate from the major parties walked out of the school flashing the V (for Victory) sign.
However, after a point, when it became clear that the Congress would hold the majority, BJP supporters looked for other avenues of competition. One such was celebration, which grew more outrageous by the candidate. If, say, a Congress candidate emerges victorious, supporters break into dance and whistling, often taunting BJP supporters standing nearby. Not to be outdone, the BJP supporters will match move for move, and try to outdo the celebrations when their candidate emerges out with a smile.
Other competitions hotly contested by supporters were ‘Who will lift the flag higher’, ‘who can say ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’ louder’, ‘candidate with the most garlands’, among others not including the prediction and analysis game that everyone was engaged in. Even newcomer Social Democratic Party of India put up a decent fight.
Smell of victory
Apart from victorious candidates, garland sellers were seen with a smile on their faces. As many as six persons – all working for the same man who kept the garlands in a car – sold flower garlands for Rs. 100, and three others selling cheaper garlands for Rs. 50 were hawking the wares to enthusiastic supporters at the sight.
It was slow business for the first two hours, as supporters had probably decided to keep the garlanding after their party’s fate had been decided. Two hours into the counting, one of the hawkers had said that only four such Rs. 100 garlands had already been sold. However, an hour later, around 11.30, he said he was sold out. This was the time the candidates and their political mentors were being feted by supporters. Considering that most of the 60 candidates were seen sporting multiple garlands, it is safe to assume the sellers did brisk business.
Lack of arrangements
Unlike in the previous elections, the arrangements at the media centre in the Rosario College, where counting took place on Monday, hardly left presspersons wiser than those waiting for results outside. A 21-inch LCD screen placed in a corner merely relayed what was being updated on the official website of the State Election Commission. The trends of the counting were not easy to come by. Media persons had to depend on the candidates coming out of the counting booth to receive updates of votes garnered.
Poojary plays headmaster
Congressmen could not control their excitement of victory in Mangalore City Corporation council elections at the party’s election office in Shivabagh where a press meet was called Monday evening. When the former Union Minister B. Janardhana Poojary told reporters that the party will stand by its assurance of not increasing property tax and water tariff during its rule, some partymen started clapping. “Do not clap. This is not a party meeting but a press conference,” Mr. Poojary had to tell them. After a few minutes another section started clapping when it heard another announcement. “Do not do this. Keep your excitement outside this venue,” Mr. Poojary said this time.
He had to discipline them again when he heard a few party men speaking at a corner. “Be disciplined party workers,” he again said but his advices appeared to fall on deaf ears.