For nearly 45 days, Beerchand Patel Marg was the hub of all political activity across Bihar, the command-and-control centre of a grand battle which was fought in the dusty plains of the state.
But on Saturday, the all important road in the capital – which houses the state headquarters of the ruling JD-U, RJD and the BJP – was almost deserted.
Stray dogs slept on the courtyards undisturbed. Few party-workers sat in groups and discussed the possible outcome on Sunday when counting will be held for the 243 assembly seats.
After weeks of boisterous and often bitter campaigning, the reality has sunk in – it will all boil down to the outcome of the results. And no one is certain of victory.
Lalu Prasad, who made a brief appearance for a presser, said the grand alliance will win 190 seats. A party worker asserted: “When Laluji says it is 190, it will be 190”.
But the moment the RJD chief departed, everyone else left too, leaving the office deserted.
The exit polls after the five-phase polls have also not been too favourable to any of the coalitions – the BJP-led NDA or the grand alliance of the JD-U, RJD and Congress. Though a few polls gave an edge to one or the other, the uncertainty has remained.
At the BJP office, a worker in the media cell who identified himself only as Birju put up a brave front.
“People have gone to Sushil Modi’s (state party president) house. They will come back in 25-30 minutes; we will begin our preparations for the celebrations then,” he said adding that “the people have given us a big victory.”
The party has also shut down a ‘langar’ (community feast) run for workers and supporters for the past 45 days.
“On an average, 300-400 party workers used to have meals and snacks each day,” BJP office in-charge Lalita Singh Yadav said.
At the ruling JD(U)’s office, attendance is the thinnest, with just a skeletal publicity team holding fort in an empty building.
No party has placed advance order for sweets, a common practice in earlier elections.
“No doubt we are winning, but we are not placing any advance order for sweets. We will do it tomorrow,” said BJP spokesman Sanjay Mayukh.
The LJP office on 1, Shaheed Peer Ali Marg, near the airport, is also near-vacant.