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Mulayam all set to get his second Thakur bahu
By our correspondent  Lucknow | 27th Nov 2011

Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav (left) at Parliament House in New Delh. PTI

After the wedding of Akhilesh Yadav (son of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav) in 1999, Uttar Pradesh will host yet another gala celebrity wedding next week when his younger brother Prateek Yadav weds his "childhood sweetheart" Aparna Bisht.

The pre-wedding rituals begin on 2 December and the wedding is scheduled to be held in Sefai, Mulayalam Singh's native in Etawah district, on 4 December. According to family sources, nearly two lakh guests are expected to attend the ceremony. "As per tradition, we will be sending out an open invitation to the entire constituency and everyone is welcome. Food will be served from 10 a.m. and will continue well past midnight," said a family member from the groom's side.

According to family sources, nearly two lakh guests are expected to attend the ceremony. “As per tradition, we will be sending out an open invitation to the entire constituency and everyone is welcome. Food will be served from 10 a.m. and will continue well past midnight,” said a family member from the groom’s side.

A grand reception for about 2,000 guests is being planned in Lucknow on 7 December. Top politicians from all parties are expected to attend, except, of course, the BSP which prohibits its leaders from attending functions of opposition parties.

Tarun Tahiliani has designed the wedding outfits for the couple. The invitation cards have been modestly designed, keeping with the 'son-of-the-soil image' of the veteran politician. "We belong to a political family and elections are round the corner. Besides, we never believe in vulgar display of wealth. The wedding will be lavish only in terms of number of guests – not anything else," said one of the groom's cousins.

Distant relatives of the senior Yadav, however, are ruing the fact that 'Netaji' has lost both his sons to Thakurs and could not get even a single Yadav 'bahu' into the clan. Incidentally, Dimple, his eldest daughter-in-law, is a Thakur from Uttarakhand – just like Aparna. "We are a close knit Yadav clan and it is not easy for these girls to fit into the family, especially in Etawah. We are upset but there is little we can do about it," said a relative on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, the inter-caste wedding is already attracting a great deal of attention and optimists even hope that this would lead to a winning Thakur-Yadav combination in the upcoming elections. Party insiders insist that Prateek is also nursing political ambitions and could make his debut in the coming Assembly polls. Aparna, the daughter of a senior journalist Arvind Singh Bisht, and Prateek were engaged in September 2010 after which the relationship continued long distance – their Facebook friends will vouch for this. The bride and groom in their early 20s, according to their own admission, have been 'childhood friends'. "We have been friends for eight years, so you can call us high-school sweethearts," Aparna was quoted in The Independent, UK. Aparna is completing masters in international politics at the Manchester University while Prateek, a body-building aficionado, is a management student from Leeds University. He is also a real-estate businessman in UP.

 
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