Firecrackers burst incessantly, the air turned greenish as scores of Trinamool Congress supporters applied generous amounts of green abir (coloured powder) on each other and threw some more in the air. Strained cries of ‘Vande Mataram' and ‘Trinamool Congress Zindabad' rang out here on Friday as primary reports of Trinamool candidates leading with good margins began to trickle in.
As the hours went by, the tempo of the celebrations became louder and more assertive — almost to the level of a frenzied jubilation.
Hundreds of supporters from several parts of the city, as well as from neighbouring districts, trooped in at the residence of Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee at Kalighat to celebrate the party's landslide historic victory.
Dancing, clapping, and cheering away, the motley crowd, drenched in green, blew conch shells, beat drums and sounded gongs to reflect their ecstatic mood.
While some carried giant party flags, banners and tri-coloured umbrellas, others wore bandanas, scarves, headbands and stickers sporting Ms. Banerjee's picture and the party's name. The crowd only swelled as the day got older.
Inmates of the Presidency Correctional Home right across the party office danced and cheered loudly.
Every time the giant television screen at the media centre displayed a report of either a Trinamool candidate leading or a Left Front candidate trailing, the cadence of the sloganeering rose several notches louder.
Slogans such as ‘Dike Dike Bolchhe, Paribartan Eseche' (It is resounded in all directions that change has arrived), or ‘Lal Hatao, Desh Bachao' (Overthrow communism and save the country) and ‘Dike Dike Jitchhe Ke, Trinamool Congres Abar Ke' (Who is winning everywhere? Who else but the Trinamool Congress?), were some of the favourites among the supporters.
Flashing victory signs and broad grins, crowds gathered around television cameras telecasting the occasion live. A joyous roar arose among the crowd when the television screen flashed that Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was about to resign.
The celebrations, however, did not reach its crest until Ms. Banerjee came out of her tin-thatched house at around 11.50 a.m. There was a mad scramble as she walked the 500-metre-long path between her house and the party office. As many in the crowd tried to shake hands with and personally congratulate the leader. Ms. Banerjee's security personnel had the arduous task of keeping the hysterical crowd at bay. Flower petals were showered and bouquets presented to her while the women ululated and blew conch shells.