The jubilation started in the afternoon across the city even as people huddled around large screens installed at many street corners to beam the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister and his Cabinet colleagues on Monday.
The screens were put up at vantage positions, such as closer to temples, bus stands and other places of public visit, by cadres of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). On the other hand, the district BJP office at PVS Junction was equipped with a larger screen to cater to the bigger crowd.
Nearly a thousand curious onlookers and hundreds of passers-by were witness to the swearing-in ceremony telecast live on Doordarshan at the BJP office. As Mr. Modi began taking the oath, frenzied supporters burst firecrackers and shouted slogans — Ek BharatShresthaBharat . The euphoria continued during the swearing-in of party president Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and reached the pinnacle when D.V. Sadananda Gowda’s turn came.
The crowd at the BJP office jeered and shouted when Smriti Zubin Irani — who contested and lost against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in Amethi — took the oath. Similar was the crowd’s response when Harsh Vardhan took the oath.
The crowd was also curious whether the Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha member Nalin Kumar Kateel would be called to take the oath; but was disappointed when the ceremony concluded. One of the spectators said, “Many expected a berth for Mr. Nalin, as he had registered a spectacular victory.” Adjacent to the big screen, there was a stall distributing sweets and chai while all those watching the telecast had a taste of them. The party made similar distribution arrangements at important localities in the city, including Yekkur, Kottara and Hampanakatta.
As the crowd swelled near PVS Junction, traffic police had to divert vehicles from Lal Bagh towards Bunts Hostel on Jail Road. A BJP worker who was bursting firecrackers said a special roll consisting of more than 40,000 crackers had been ordered for the occasion by the party. When it was laid on the road it stretched for a quarter of a kilometre.