Confident of sweet victory in the just-concluded Maharashtra elections, the state BJP placed a mammoth order for 5,000 laddoos and numerous garlands on Wednesday, a day before counting of votes. News agency PTI said it has also erected a huge screen on the premises of its Mumbai headquarters, so supporters can watch the events leading up to their desired conclusion unfold minute by scintillating minute.
The reason for their jubilation is understandable, given that the exit polls have predicted a thumping victory for the state's BJP-Shiv Sena alliance. While TV-9 Marathi claimed that it will win 197 of the state's 288 seats, the CNN News 18-IPSOS poll predicted a landslide victory with 243. An aggregate of all the 11 exit polls showed them winning 211 seats, slightly lower than the 217 they currently hold.
BJP workers have been asked to reach the party headquarters in south Mumbai after 10 am, when the initial poll trends are expected to emerge. The celebrations could begin by afternoon, depending on the outcome of the counting. "We know that we are returning to power. We are only curious about the numbers," PTI quoted a party leader as saying.
Maharashtra, which had gone to the polls on October 21, witnessed a voter turnout of 61.13%.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had visited the Kedanath shrine in Uttarakhand to offer prayers to Lord Shiva earlier on Wednesday. "Took darshan and blessings at Kedarnath temple this morning. Har Har Mahadev!" he tweeted, sharing photographs of his visit.
According to PTI, Devendra Fadnavis spent about an hour talking to priests at the shrine after performing the rituals.
The Kedarnath shrine is located 11,755 feet above sea level. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited it earlier this year too, after he was done campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections.
(With inputs from PTI)