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BJD workers celebrate victory

Celebration time: A Biju Janata Dal activist bursting crackers at the party office in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.

Celebration time: A Biju Janata Dal activist bursting crackers at the party office in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: Ashoke Chakrabarty

Staff Reporter

Sombre mood prevailed at BJP, Congress party offices

BHUBANESWAR: Jubilant Biju Janata Dal (BJD) workers outside the party office screamed ecstatically, beat drums and fluttered flags as the regional political party tasted unprecedented victory in the Assembly as well as Parliamentary elections here on Saturday.

A sombre mood prevailed at party offices of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the State Congress here as leaders went speechless staring heavy defeat, the parties suffered.

As the vehicle of the BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik entered party office at Unit-VI area in the evening, the premise was reverberated with slogans like, “Naveen Patnaik zindabad and Biju Patnaik amar rahe” When Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, the key strategist of the BJD, made his way to party office, he was welcomed with similar passion.

Workers launched high-pitched celebration after victory of party candidates was confirmed from different sources. Enthusiastic crowd gelled with the BJD supporters to electrify the atmosphere further.

Workers were hailing both Mr. Patnaik and Mr. Mohapatra in unequivocal tone for helping the party tide over several odds like breaking of decade-long alliance with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), anti-incumbency factor after two terms of rule and challenge posed by the Congress in a three-cornered contest.

Addressing the gathering an emotionally charged BJD supremo said people of the State showered all their blessings on the party and candidates who emerged victorious would have to work 10 times harder for development of the State.

However, early in the day the BJD leaders who knew that party was returning to power with thumping majority spent hours before their television sets. Although dozens of reporters started reaching residence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik early in the morning, the BJD president did not come even once as he was following results intensely inside his room. It was only after the noon when Mr. Patnaik gave his first reactions to media.

At the BJP office, a handful of party workers glued to television set witnessing great tumbling of the party in the elections.

Even a 150 sq ft sized room was more than enough to accommodate the BJP supporters and reporters waiting to cover the mood as results were declared.

A BJP office-bearer gave a strange reason saying, “we were earlier fighting in 60 odd Assembly seats.

Since we had fielded candidates in all the seats, we are short of party workers.” As the news of defeat of party heavyweights such Biswa Bhushan Harichandan, Dharmendra Pradhan and Sameer Dey were pouring in, the ambiance was becoming more depressing. Subsequently, some party leaders and supporters were hurriedly leaving the place.

At Congress office, the flower bouquets ordered earlier in anticipation of party’s victory in elections were lying in a corner while angry party workers were blaming central leadership for not laying emphasis on the State .

However, leaders were busy saving face by highlighting performance of UPA at Centre.

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