On any other day, they would be on their feet walking, knocking doors, making promises, and shaking hands but on Saturday candidates were glued to their televisions, cheering on the Men in Blue to a World Cup triumph.
Talk of the town and the CPI(M) candidate from Kasba, Shatarup Ghosh, 25, said he was more bothered about the polls when the match started in Mumbai. "I had gone out for my usual campaigning in the morning but once the match started I didn't want to miss a single moment," said Ghosh who sat relaxed in a striped white shirt and blue jeans at Kasba Bandhu Milan Sporting Club.
As India inched towards victory, Ghosh was savouring the moment. He was not even born when Kapil's Devils scripted history on a magical summers day at Lords in 1983. "Going out for campaigning in the evening would be a bad idea anyway because everyone would be busy watching the match and I would be a intruder if I knocked doors for votes," said Ghosh.
Son of speaker Hashim Abdul Halim and Fuad Halim, CPI(M) candidate in Ballygunge, spent a tense afternoon praying for the Indian team. Halim was out campaigning in the morning but chose to concentrate on cricket as the day wore on. He joined the boys of Jeet Sporting Club at Kyd Street opposite his residence in cheering on the Men in Blue. " I had watched the soccer world cup with these boys and when Dhoni and company were playing in the final it was out of the question to miss out," said Halim who is also the mentor of the club.
Becharam Manna in Singur was also following India's fortunes in Mumbai. Speaking to HT, the Trinamool's Haripal candidate was bullish on India. "I am not talking politics today. All I want is that India should win the cup again. I am cheering with farmers and praying for my team," said Manna who watched the match at the Trinamool party office. Today worrying about the election has taken a back seat. All I want today is to win the cup. I am cheering with the peasants here and praying for my team," said Manna who watched the match at the party office. His prayers were answered as Dhoni hit the ball into the stands to win the match for India.
Mayor Sovan Chatterjee was disappointed after Sachin and Sehwag were out as he watched the action at a friend's place. "My family isn't home so I was watching the match alone then I went to a friend's place where Sehwag was out. I went to another friend's place only to see that Sachin also returned to the pavilion. I switched off from the match," said Chatterjee.