Mumbai: By mid-afternoon on Tuesday as the assembly results threw up a hung verdict in neighbouring Karnataka, the euphoria of the state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) began to evaporate and later winded up their celebrations within few hours. So much so that the giant LED screen that was put up outside the BJP Pradesh office was taken down, the dais, chairs, fans and flags were bundled away into a corner. Worst still the sudden winding up of the celebrations left the drummers furiously searching for food after vigorously beating the drums. The early morning euphoria gave way to anxiety of whether or not the party will be able to form the government or not in Karnataka.
Earlier in the morning, the state BJP unit sent out messages stating that the celebrations will be attended by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, state BJP president Raosaheb Danve, Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar and other prominent BJP leaders. Fadnavis could not attend the celebrations as he was busy attending the function graced by President of India Ram Nath Kovind in the city. At the hindsight it proved to be a blessing in disguise that due to his preoccupation with the official function he was not part of a celebration that proved to be premature and embarrassing for the party.
It was then left for Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar to offer sweets to state BJP president Raosaheb Danve accompanied by BJP chief whip in state legislature Raj K Purohit and BJP corporator Atul Shah. Danve remarked that the Karnataka victory has opened the gateway to the southern states and argued that the BJP will get a landslide mandate in the 2019 elections. He pointed out many BJP workers from Mumbai, Kolhapur and Nanded had gone for campaigning in Karnataka.
Addressing the party workers, Shelar without naming the Shiv Sena, stated that despite some allies helping the Congress the BJP managed to put up an impressive performance in disputed Marathi speaking border regions of Belgaum. The Sena had supported the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MKS) candidates in the assembly constituencies in the disputed region. However, none of the MKS candidates won. Sources argued that the Congress victories in some of the Marathi dominated constituencies in the region suggest that the voters not only did not vote for the BJP candidates, but also voted against the MKS candidates. Sources further alleged that the Sena actually aided the Congress in ensuring victories in the disputed region.