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It’s the season to vote first, wed later
- Knotty poll challenge for April marriages as families are forced to postpone D-Day

Engaged software engineer couple Prakhar and Sudeshna will remember April 16, 2014, for the rest of their lives. Their wedding was to take place in Ramgarh on the eve of Lok Sabha polls on April 17, but transporters told relatives no bus was free before election for the baraat.

The Big Fat Voting has replaced The Big Fat Indian Wedding on the list of practical priorities, including logistics, posing a knotty problem for marriages scheduled in April-May.

Shakti Choudhary, a noted Hindu panchang consultant in the city said there were six auspicious vivah muhurts (marriage dates) in April.

“They are April 15, 16, 18, 20, 21 and 22. It is difficult to solemnise marriages on April 15, 16 and 18,” Choudhary said.

According to Election Commission of India, Jharkhand goes to polls on April 10, 17 and 24, with six seats having their EVM date on April 17 and four each on April 10 and 24.

Palamau, Chatra, Lohardaga and Koderma will go to polls on April 10; Ranchi, Khunti, Singhbhum, Jamshedpur, Giridih and Hazaribagh on April 17 and Dhanbad, Dumka, Godda and Rajmahal on April 24.

Transport is the biggest problem for marriages clashing with poll dates. Then, caterers, florists and the entire gamut of event managers needed for weddings may or may not be available. Relatives who are government employees may be on election duty.

Even a basic wedding must-have, music, involves getting major paperwork done from the district administration.

Choudhary, the priest, knows all of this first-hand.

Talking about one of his clients who postponed his son’s marriage scheduled on April 16 to May 8, he said: “I was to assist the boy’s marriage and the baraat was to go to Jamshedpur. When elections were announced, the boy’s family came rushing to me asking what needs to be done now. No buses, no music, they were in doldrums. So, after consulting the girl’s family, we decided to hold the marriage on May 8.”

Manoj Karmakar, a retired PSU officer in Ranchi, shared yet another reason. “I postponed my son’s wedding scheduled on April 16 as my relatives in Coochbehar and Malda (Bengal) will go for election duty on April 17 and 24 and wouldn’t be able to enjoy the festivities. We will now solemnise the marriage on May 17,” Karmakar said, adding they knew that results would be declared on May 16.

The poll juggernaut has also left band-baja parties feeling left out. “We earn a bulk of our livelihood from marriages. Now, there is a lull,” said a musician of Goldie Band, Hindpiri.

Brides and grooms, vote first and then wed. And guests, the great EVM god will reward you with two-three wedding parties per evening once elections are over.


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