The morning started on a bright note outside Puratcchi Talaivi J Jayalalithaa’s Poe’s Garden house on a very optimistic note with a small group of party workers assembled outside from as early as 6 am.
The crowds swelled with the arrival of television camera crews within a few hours and party workers and media persons spent the morning updating each other with news about various candidates that they were getting on phone.
“Vaiko’s trailing by 1000,” “Pandian has been declared the winner unofficially,” “How’s Elangovan doing, Is he still trailing?” were the most frequent refrains every 15 minutes or so.
Party workers distributed sweets in anticipation of a massive victory asserting that the AIADMK with allies was sure to bag between 27 and 30 seats.
At about 10:30 am, a large group of party workers shouting slogans arrived to burst long strings of crackers. “Makkal Talaivi, Puratchhi Talaivi,” they shouted. The driver of one of the vehicles in which the cadre had arrived, however, admitted that an order had been received from the party office about the crackers. “Apparently some TV channels are showing people bursting crackers outside the DMK office,” he said.
In less than half an hour, by about 11 am, the excitement appeared to have fizzled out as counting trends showed that the party was doing well in only about 11 or 12 seats of the 23 that it contested.