What do two political rivals—fighting for the prestigious Gauhati seat this election—do when they are not campaigning? Let their hair down and dance to the foot-tapping beats of Bihu, of course. As Assam ushered in the festival of Rongali Bihu on April 14, Bobbeeta Sharma of the Congress and BJP’s Queen Oja were among thousands of Bihu revellers who sang and danced during a public celebration in Guwahati’s iconic Judges Field.
“We are not doing politics here today. We may have differences in our ideologies but personally we all are the same as Assamese. We all want to live peacefully. There is love and affection among us,” said Bobbeeta, 52, a known face in television before joining active politics. Queen Oja, 67, too was equally effusive. “During Bihu, everyone becomes united…no enemy in Bihu time. There is no other issue here apart from love and affection,” said Oja.
The two rivals have been praised for refusing to attack each other and instead concentrating on the issues they are championing. Sharma refers to Oja as her “baidew”, Assamese for older sister. Oja, on her part, refuses to speak ill of her political opponent.
Another familiar face among the revellers was one certain Tarun Gogoi dancing his way to glory. He said he is just 84 years young. Beat that for enthusiasm.