Digvijaya son to marry Bihar 'royal'

The "prince" has confirmed. He is set to take a "princess" as his wife.

By Rasheed Kidwai in Bhopal
  • Published 18.03.15
Jaivardhan Singh with Sreejamya Shahi

Bhopal, March 17: The "prince" has confirmed. He is set to take a "princess" as his wife.

The season's calendar of high-profile weddings has just acquired a truly regal ring, with Jaivardhan Singh, son of "Raja" of Raghaogarh Digvijaya Singh, confirming that he would tie the knot with Sreejamya Shahi, a descendant of the Dumaria royals of north Bihar's West Champaran district.

The wedding is scheduled for May 19 in New Delhi. Informed sources said a " tilak" ceremony would be held in Madhya Pradesh's Raghaogarh principality on April 21.

"JV", as Jaivardhan's friends call him, confirmed the date. "Yes, yes... I'm engaged and the marriage will take place on May 19," the Congress MLA told The Telegraph. "She is currently doing her CA."

Last month, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's great-nephew Tej Pratap got married to Rashtriya Janata Dal boss Lalu Prasad's youngest daughter Raj Lakshmi.

Earlier this month, Congress veterans Virbhadra Singh and Captain Amarinder Singh became relatives, too, when the Himachal Pradesh chief minister's daughter Aparajita got married to Angad Singh, the grandson of the former Punjab chief minister, the titular Maharaja of Patiala.

If the marriage of Raj Lakshmi and Tej Pratap strengthened the RJD's bond with a fellow socialist party from the erstwhile Janata parivar, the May 19 wedding is set to deepen Congress-RJD ties.

Sreejamya's grandfather Ran Vijaya Shahi was a leading light of the RJD who served two terms in the Bihar Assembly. Her great-grandfather was Shattru Mardan Shahi, a former education minister.

Digvijaya, a three-time Congress chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, has old links with Bihar as his maternal grandmother was from the state. When Digvijaya was chief minister, he used to frequently travel to Bihar and often claimed that he learned the political ropes from legendary figures of Bihar such as S.N. Sinha, Karpoori Thakur, K.B. Sahay and Chandrashekhar Singh.

Jaivardhan, 28, an alumnus of Doon School and Colombia University, is the sitting MLA from Raghaogarh in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly. Although royalty ceased to matter since 1947, residents of Raghaogarh still revere their former rulers.

Even today, some Raghaogarh residents refer to Digvijaya as "Raja", while loyalists describe the young "prince" as the 14th in the line of succession from the time of Raja Lal Singh in 1673, when the state first came into being.

Sreejamya has studied in Mayo College Girls, Ajmer, and is studying to be a chartered accountant.

Sources close to Digvijaya said the marriage would be a low-key affair.

In political and social circles, news of Jaivardhan's wedding has generated a lot of interest, particularly in the wake of speculation that Digvijaya might himself tie the knot.

Last year, Digvijaya, 67, had gone public admitting that he was in a relationship with a TV anchor.

In Bhopal, Digvijaya is used to being asked when he would throw a lavish meal. "Yes, it's on, and you will soon be getting an invite for a wedding reception," he would reply every time.

Little did his acquaintances realise that Digvijaya meant his son's wedding reception.