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Nora Chopra is a senior journalist with a finger on the pulse of the Indian political scene

Mulayam crosses caste barriers

Mulayam Singh Yadav, whose main support base is among the Yadavs, is reaching out to the upper caste Rajputs. He has agreed to his son Prateek getting married to a Thakur girl, Aparna Singh Bisht. Aparna, the daughter of a senior Lucknow journalist, has studied international diplomacy from the Manchester University. Prateek has done his management from Leeds University. The wedding will take place on 4 December in Mulayam's ancestral village Sefai. The reception will take place in Lucknow on 7 December. The reception was earlier scheduled for 6 December, but the date was changed as 6 December is the anniversary of the demolition of the Babri mosque. The Yadav family hopes to reap the electoral fruits of this inter caste marriage in the Assembly elections. But this is not the first time that Mulayam has broken the caste barrier. He married a Bania lady, Sadhana Gupta, who is the mother of Prateek, after the death of his first wife. His elder son by his first wife, Akhilesh is married to a Rajput girl, Dimple. Mulayam went against Yadav opposition to agree to Akhilesh's wedding.

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