Campaign on hold as UP leaders take Holi break (Election Special)
Canvassing can wait for now! Holi, the festival of colours, Monday became a "temporary ceasefire", as politics was pushed to the backseat in Uttar Pradesh, and battle-ready leaders took part in celebrations in their constituencies.
"It's a big festival and we all enjoy it, so where does the question of politics arise during this time," said Samajwadi Party candidate from Lucknow, Ashok Bajpayi.
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, known for his rustic Holi parties, left for his home town Etawah.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, his parliamentarian wife Dimple Yadav, PWD Minister and Mulayam Singh's brother Shivpal Singh Yadav, and Rajya Sabha member Ram Gopal Yadav left for Saifai for Holi celebrations.
Unfazed by the denial of ticket by the Bharatiya Janata Party and being replaced by party chief Rajnath Singh for the Lucknow constituency, sitting MP Lalji Tandon was too looking forward to the Tandon household's colourful Holi celebrations where bhang flows freely.
"Traditionally, old city areas like Chowk are famous for Holi functions hosted by Muslims. This year too, there would be no let down in the revellery and we are hoping to let our hair down," said BJP leader and city mayor Dinesh Sharma.
Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Agarwal headed home to Hardoi while Tourism Minister Om Prakash Singh went to Jaunpur, giving hectic political activity a break.
Raghuraj Pratap Singh aka Raja Bhaiyya has gone to his native place Kunda in Pratapgarh for a break.
Former state Congress committee president Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who is now a candidate from Lucknow, too said it was now time to celebrate the festival.
(Mohit Dubey can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Posted on 17-03-2014)