| BJP MLA Jawahar Prasad (extreme right) smears gulal on other legislators at the Assembly on Thursday. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
War of words transformed into a riot of colours in the Assembly after legislators shed their political differences ahead of Holi.
The legislature will resume on April 1, days after the festival of colours, but the legislators did not waste any time with the festivities.
The first to jump in the fray was as usual BJP MLA Jawahar Prasad. Not only is the Sasaram MLA health-conscious, he also believes in the power of colours to dissolve any bitterness round the year in the Assembly.
Prasad greeted his fellow members with gulal at the entrance to the Assembly. First in his sight was party colleague from Sugauli in East Champaran, Ram Chandra Sahni. Both the leaders hugged and greeted each other happy Holi.
Prasad said: “It is the festival of colour and joy. We should forget the bitterness and conflicts inside the Assembly. This is the time to extend best wishes to everyone, including our enemies. We should forget all animosity and just wish each other.”
For a while, the 65-year-old leader stood at the Assembly gate and smeared gulal on his colleagues, including Valmikinagar MLA Rajesh Singh, Kanti MLA Ajit Kumar and Guruwa MLA Surendra Prasad Sinha.
Soon, most legislators turned pink — not out of embarrassment but of natural gulal (no hybrid colours in the Assembly please!). Some tried to escape with a thought to their attires, but with limited success.
Last year too, Prasad had caught his Opposition colleague Raghvendra Pratap Singh (RJD) at the gate and smeared pink gulal on him.
This year the Opposition could not escape his sight. RJD MLA from Kochadhaman Assembly in Kishanganj, Akhtarul Iman, was smeared with gulal.
Female legislators were hardly left out. Art culture and youth affairs minister Sukhada Pandey, who was greeted with colours, said: “He is the man who makes everybody enjoy the Holi celebrations. This is the only time we forget all kind of animosity.”
Welcoming Holi, Prasad also sung traditional songs and was soon joined by the other MLAs. Bhojpuri singer and Independent MLA from Lauria Assembly (West Champaran) Vinay Bihari also performed three songs, including the Jogira folk number.
Rural works minister Bhim Singh said: “This is the festival which brings peace and harmony in the society. Everyone should play Holi safely. It is time to lend a helping hand to every person.”
JD(U) MLA from Karakat, Rajeshwar Raj, said: “I am going to celebrate Holi with the people of my constituency. Many have called on me and I will visit their houses. Bihar has maintained communal harmony and similarly, our supporters will maintain the atmosphere of joy and peace.”