Patna: The much-publicized wedding of Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rabri Devi's eldest son Tej Pratap Yadav with Aishwarya Rai, the daughter of party leader Chandrika Rai, was solemnized in Patna on Saturday in the presence of a galaxy of politicians representing various political parties.
It was not clear if BJP rebel leader Shatrughan Sinha, who is said to be very close to the RJD family, was present on the occasion or not.
Those who were conspicuous by their absence included any top leader of the Congress Party, Trinamool Congress President and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, or any big or small Bollywood star.
Earlier, the 'baraat' procession left the home of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leaders on 10 Circular road. Complete with elephants, camels, and horses, the procession, amid band and dance, arrived at the wedding venue at the Veterinary College field about two kilometers from the groom's home.
One could see the deliberate attempt to project the entire affair as the mythical wedding of Lord Shiv and Parvati as children dressed like Lord Shiv, Parvati, Lord Ganesh and 'Shiv's Ghosts' followed the 'baraat' on chariots pulled by horses. To further ensure people saw Tej Pratap and Aishwarya in the image of Lord Shiv and Parvati, large billboards were installed both at the Yadav residence and the wedding venue.
The RJD chief personally welcomed all the guests but one could not avoid sensing a feeling awkwardness between Lalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar as they shook hand even as Yadav tried his best to avoid making any eye contact.
RJD officials said over 25,000 people had come to attend the Tej Pratap-Aishwarya wedding but a cursory estimate of people present at the wedding venue put the number close to 5-6000.
After the 'jaimaal' ceremony, the rest of the wedding rituals took place at 5 Circular Road, the home of the bride's father Chandrika Rai. Only very close friends, relatives, and party leaders were present on the occasion.