Eleven kg motichoor laddoos, 16.5 kg cream, 16.5 kg sugar, 22 kg flour and a team of 12 cooks — a night before the Lok Sabha results are declared, Bengali Pastry Shop is busy preparing 10 ‘laddoo cakes’, ordered by the Delhi BJP.
“There is one 8 kg cake with sponge, cream and laddoos, and the rest nine cakes are 5 kg each. These are round cakes with laddoos at the centre. We have to deliver them by 2 pm Thursday,” said Umesh Aggarwal, who owns the pastry shop in Bengali Market. The 54-year-old said that a half-kg cake sample was sent to Delhi BJP media co-incharge Neelkant Bakshi Tuesday and the shop received the order Wednesday evening. “The cake is priced at Rs 900-Rs 1,000 per kg,” said Aggarwal.
On Wednesday afternoon, though, laddoos are the least of everyone’s preoccupations at the BJP’s central office at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg. The swanky headquarters is being prepped for the results, and for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is expected to visit Thursday. On Wednesday, party president Amit Shah held a meeting at the headquarters.
A pandal that will function as studio space for news channels has been set up, and chai-paani arrangement for party workers and volunteers is being made. “We’ve got calls from workers, supporters, who want to bring traditional musical instruments to the office tomorrow. Jashn ka mahual hoga… but there is no need for premature celebrations at the headquarters; we are not getting laddoos made here,” said BJP leader Shyam Jaju.
BJP leader Praveen Shankar Kapoor, who was looking after the campaign of East Delhi candidate Gautam Gambhir, said he has ordered 50 kg of lotus-shaped barfi from a Chandni Chowk shop.
The party’s Delhi unit will put up LED screens at their 14 Pant Marg office for workers to watch the results unfold. A meeting was organised at the state office where workers were advised to “maintain calm”. Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said, “I’ve told workers to maintain their calm because the opposition will try to provoke them as they do not have faith in EVMs.”
Outside the Congress HQ on 24, Akbar Road, sat Jeet Ram (28) with party paraphernalia — stickers, badges, stoles and a sari with Indira Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi’s faces. “It’s all priced between Re 1-Rs 3,000. For result day, we have stocked up more items,” he said.
At the office, ample “guesswork” is going on about whether the party stands a chance. “Will we form the government?” a guard wondered out loud. A party member replied confidently: “Oh easily, but it won’t be called UPA-III, it will be called something else because of regional parties.”
On plans to get sweets in such a scenario, he said: “Jaise jaise trends aayenge, headquarters mein laddoo bhi aa jayenge.”