Cricket fever was at its peak at Vidhan Bhavan on Wednesday. Legislators finished work early so that they could catch the India-Pakistan match live.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan left his office two hours after both Houses wound up for the day. He met bureaucrats, cleared files and in between watched Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag’s early blitzkrieg.
“He then headed straight home to watch the rest of the match. He didn’t have any engagements for the rest of the day,” said a senior officer at Chavan’s office on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
An excited Opposition leader in the Council, Pandurang Fundkar, stayed put at his Vidhan Bhavan office. “I will watch the Indian innings and then go home; I don’t want to miss a single ball,” he said as Tendulkar chugged on. But he left the office as soon as MS Dhoni got out. “I don’t think we can make a big total now,” said Fundkar.
Cricket was a great leveller in the corridors of power.
Senior leaders and officers did not mind junior staff sharing the few television sets at Vidhan Bhavan. By late afternoon, Fundkar’s office resembled a cinema house.
Public works minister Chhagan Bhujbal, his MLA son Pankaj and MP nephew Sameer travelled to Mohali. Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Vinod Tawde was also there.