Decades ago, the Swathi Thirunal College of Music was witness to an event which hastened erstwhile Travancore's merger with democratic India.
On Wednesday too, the college was a mute witness to the manifestation of will of the people which resulted in the rise and fall of many a political fortune.
Well before the counting of votes began at 8 a.m., the police sealed all roads leading to the college and secured all entrances to the premises. Supporters of political parties gathered in small groups and occupied vantage positions in front of the college gate.
Even before the official announcement of each result was made, counting agents of various candidates rushed to the college gate and shouted out the results.
This was greeted with clapping, whistles and cheers by the crowd. As the crowd swelled beyond a point, the police quickly rolled in barricades to keep apart the supporters of rival fronts.
As the race for supremacy in the Corporation heated up, so did the decibel level of the crowds of supporters.
If LDF supporters made themselves conspicuous by smearing themselves with red powder, Congress workers danced to the rhythm of the ‘elathaalam.' Before long it was the turn of BJP workers to lustily cheer the party's victory in six wards.
Immediately after confirming their victory, candidates rushed outside the college into the waiting arms of supporters. Many a candidate was hoisted on to shoulders and paraded around.
Activists of the DYFI and the SFI kept up a constant stream of slogans in favour of the LDF. Vendors of ice-cream and tea did brisk business throughout the day as parched throats turned to them repeatedly for refreshments.
In the midst of all this din and bustle, candidates who lost the elections could be seen silently making their way out of the counting booths. Some, who lost by narrow margins could not hide their disappointment at the turn of events.
As winning candidates rushed back to their respective wards, the din of the celebrations spread throughout the city.
Activists of various political parties burst crackers, distributed sweets and took out processions and motorcycle rallies to announce the victory of their candidates.
Activists gathered in large numbers outside the headquarters of various political parties to celebrate and discuss the election results.
Celebrations in the city were subdued when compared to those in the suburban areas.
Once the last result was announced and the last slogan shouted, it was the police who were perhaps the most relieved lot.
Keywords: Kerala civic polls