May 24, 2019 2:59:50 am
A dugga from Nashik, a chenda from Kollam and a nagaada from Palwal — BJP’s resounding victory Thursday found crescendo at the party’s headquarters at Delhi’s DDU Marg, hours before the final count was in. By noon, the office was swathed in saffron, dancing had begun, and the premises was swarming with party workers, volunteers and cardboard cut-outs of the PM and BJP chief.
Also in attendance were supporters such as 12-year-old Lakshya Joshi, who reached the office at 7.30 am with a BJP flag, to 90-year-old Charan Das, who took a bus from Karnal. “Modi bete ko aashirwad dene aaya hoon… I am here alone, despite my family’s hesitation,” said Das.
Inside the sprawling media room sat supporters dressed in ‘Chowkidar Phir Se’ t-shirts and sleeveless jackets with Modi’s face, around a single TV.
The crowd broke into ‘Modi! Modi’ chants and impromptu dance every time the NDA count went up. Deepak Sharma (58), a guard at Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Medical College in Rohini, said, “The day he gave respect to chowkidars, I was on his side.”
Among senior BJP leaders who turned up were the party’s behind-the-scenes organisation man Ram Lal, who was thronged by workers eager to take a selfie. Also present were BJP’s national general secretaries Kailash Vijayvargiya, Ram Madhav, Bhupender Yadav and Muralidhar Rao.
Slogans such as ‘Ghar ghar bhagwa chhaa gaya, Modi vaapis aa gaya’ to ‘Sher aaya, sher aaya, Modi aaya Modi’ resonated as a woman danced atop the parapet, ignoring warnings.
“We’ve been here since 6 am with our dugga, drum and taashe. People can’t stop dancing, it’s getting tiring,” said Bhola Master (46) of the Nashik Band. As he took a break, members of BJP’s South Indian Cell took over with a chenda and elathalam — musical instruments from Kerala.
Around 3.30 pm, Amit Shah arrived to a welcome of gulal, rose petals and firecrackers. Four hours later came the Prime Minister, flashing the victory sign.
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