THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The air was rather cool at the BJP state headquarters, Mararji Smriti Mandiram in Thycaud, when counting of votes began at 8 am on ‘D-Day’. Other than a few mediapersons and BJP workers in the portico and veranda with their eyes set on a television news channel showing the latest from the counting centre, no signs of result-time frenzy had set in.
Among the leaders, the first to arrive was BJP district president S Suresh and then former president and present spokesman of Yuva Morcha V V Rajesh. In an hour, the scene changed with more party workers pouring in occupying the chairs arranged in the portico. Still, all kept restraint, showing no excitement or outburst when the counting updates started appearing on the screen, which were favourable to the UDF initially.
With claps did party men react when statistics showed candidate O Rajagopal leading over UDF’s Shashi Tharoor by a small margin towards 9.15 am. The leaders by the time were busy over phone when camera eyes panned over them. The astonishing rise in the number of votes for their ‘Rajettan’ in the following minutes couldn’t contain the BJP men’s elation and celebration kicked off with fists in the air, accompanied by slogans. Very soon, the portico got thickly populated so as to find enough space to get a glance over the television screen. All stood on their feet, keeping the chairs away.
When the ‘lead’ crossed five digits, sloganeering saw no interval and touched the peak when Rajagopal arrived, accompanied by party state president V Muraleedharan. A short while later, Rajagopal’s son, film-maker Syamaprasad, and family too joined in.
Discussions for celebrations were on a high at one corner of the office among the party supporters. Meanwhile, they did not forget to raise high-decibel slogans when Narendra Modi registered his victories. Casting a shadow over all happiness were the moments that followed when the BJP’s five-digit lead fell to four-digits, three-digits and below. The crowded place started to thin out, with a few sombre faces remaining.
The rise in BJP votes brought hopes back once more sometime later, but it did not last long. The stage was set for a suspense when counting got stalled for a short period in the afternoon. Many stayed away from having lunch, instead taking the light refreshment distributed at the party headquarters expecting that the fluctuating charts would fetch glad tidings. The results after the restart of counting did nothing other than bring the silence in the beginning back, but with a dash of disappointment.