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Modi attends pre-wedding bash of Mulayam's grandnephew

Modi attends pre-wedding bash of Mulayams grandnephew
Leaders of 'Janta Parivar', controversial BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj and expelled Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh were among those present at the grand "tilak" ceremony of Tej Pratap Yadav, though senior Uttar Pradesh minister Mohd Azam Khan, a staunch critic of Modi, was conspicuous by his absence.

Tej Pratap, who is Samajwadi Party MP from Mainpuri, said no politics should be seen in the Prime Minister's visit.

"There is no politics in his visit. He was extended an invitation. We are grateful to him for visiting us and giving his blessings. The opposition to him is issue based and not personal," he said.

Mulayam and Lalu have been critical of Modi but the trio happily posed for pictures at the event, shaking hands for shutter bugs to capture the moment in their cameras.

Modi, who reached at 10.45 AM along with UP Governor Ram Naik, was received by Lalu and Mulayam at the decked-up venue while the presence of Amitabh Bachchan and other Bollywood personalities added to the glamour quotient.

Amid visible bonhomie, Modi was accompanied to the stage by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Mulayam, who offered a shawl to the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister, who was seated between Lalu and Mulayam, posed with family members including children of Akhilesh Yadav and showered flower petals on the bridegroom.

Modi left after staying at the venue for 45 minutes.

A beaming Lalu said, "I am happy that my daughter's marriage is a much talked about affair in the entire country. Mulayam has not demanded a single paisa (dowry) as our hearts have met."

'Teju', as the Mainpuri Lok Sabha member is lovingly called, is getting married to Lalu Prasad's daughter Raj Laxmi on February 26 in New Delhi.

Other than the recent political bonding, the marriage cements personal relationship between Mulayam and Lalu, the strongmen of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar politics.

Several prominent leaders including JD(U) President Sharad Yadav, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Babulal Gaur, former Union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and former UP and Uttrakahand Chief Minister Narain Dutt Tiwari were among those who attended the function.

The presence of Amar Singh, who had been expelled from SP in 2010, was a surprise at the venue.

Over 1.25 lakh people were invited for the pre-wedding ceremony in the native village of Mulayam in Etawah district.

Family sources said over 1,00,000 cards were sent to relatives, politicians, journalists, judges and celebrities from different fields. Massive arrangements had been made for for over 3,000 VIPs including SP ministers and MLAs and 500 luxurious Swiss cottages were erected for their comfortable stay.

Special chefs were brought in to prepare mouth watering dishes which included Gujarati food, traditional UP and Bihari delicacies and other special cuisine for the guests.

On the platter were 'dahi-ke-aloo', 'baati-chokha', 'ulda puri' and 'paneer filled chola-bhature'.

Among the sweet delicacies on the menu were 'imarti', 'jalebi' served with chilled 'rabri', 'sohan halwa', 'kulfi' and 'moong ki daal ka halwa' soaked in pure desi ghee.

Multiple giant kitchens were set up for the event. At the main venue, 10 giant LED screens were put up for live coverage of the 'tilak' ceremony.

A renowed band from Varanasi, which performed earlier at the weddings of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and MP Dharmendra Yadav, played at the ceremony.

A grand pandal bearing a festive look with a decked up stage was set up where Lalu performed the 'tilak'.

Mulayam his brother and state minister Shivpal Singh Yadav and nephew Dharmendra Yadav personally oversaw the minute details of the preparation.

Union ministers, chief ministers, bureaucrats and a string of Bollywood stars and singers made a bee line to the village, which has already shot in to fame for being the native place of Mulayam, who organises the annual 'Saifai Mahotsava'.

Officials, both administrative and police, including those from Kanpur Zone under which Etawah falls, kept zipping up and down the roads leading to the venue to ensure there are no glitches.
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