Cheers for some, tears for some

NEW DELHI NOV. 13. They had been waiting with bated breath for the past few days for this one particular call. And those fortunate ones who ultimately received the call from the Chief Minister's residence informing them about confirmation of their nomination, their joy knew no bounds. Thereafter the phones just did not stop ringing. And as the news spread like wildfire, those who got the green signal started celebrating and those who were left out rushed to the residences of the senior party leaders including the Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit and the AICC leader in-charge Delhi, Ahmed Patel, to plead their cause.

Soon after the Central Election Committee headed by the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, finished its hectic meeting at around 9-30 p.m. last night, word was out that the first list would be announced soon. However, nothing happened officially and people were left guessing. Late in the night, after the Chief Minister returned to her residence armed with the approved list of 46 names, her staff was immediately instructed to get into the action mode. The mobile and landline numbers of the MLAs and candidates who had got the approval were fished out and they were informed about the decision. The fortunate ones were told to reach the 9, Shyam Nath Marg residence of the DPCC president, Chaudhary Prem Singh, to collect the authority letter and symbol in the morning.

Nevertheless, this did not satisfy some who wanted to be doubly sure about their nomination. Many rang up their sources and leaders in the AICC for a confirmation. Mr. Patel was flooded with calls and soon delegations arrived at his residence to either thank him or plead the cause of those who had been axed. It was no different in the case of the Chief Minister who was closeted with her supporters till late in the night.

The legislators also called up each other to confirm if they were among the lucky ones. "I have got the approval of the party high command. However, I will not believe it till I get the official authority letter, symbol and file my nomination from that particular seat. This is the Congress party and anything can go wrong here,'' a party MLA remarked.

And this morning, contrary to the impression that the announcement of the first list would be followed by strong protests from the supporters of those who have been denied the party ticket, nothing happened. There was hardly any activity at the Talkatora Road office of the Delhi Congress. Those who had been given the go-ahead for the Delhi Assembly polls were busy collecting the authority letter and the symbol in order to make preparations for filling their nomination papers with only one day left to complete the exercise. A few protests were held outside the Congress headquarters at 24, Akbar Road. In fact, the delay in the announcement of the party candidates has left little time for the agitated lot to react.