Political way to nurture love

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By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 14.02.11
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Patna, Feb. 13: Rewind three years, RJD chief Lalu Prasad got an embarrassing email from an unknown lady that read: “I love you”.

On receiving the email Lalu said: “She loves me and I love her.” He, however, made it clear that his love was fatherly and declared that he was not in favour of love marriages. He also dubbed Valentine’s Day as “foreign” culture.

Lalu’s stand not withstanding, there are several politicians who have taken a plunge and married their loved ones. When now deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi was the leader of Opposition in the Assembly, he was often targeted by Lalu, who joked that Modi was speaking extempore because his wife was in the visitors’ gallery. A hardcore RSS follower, Modi married a Christian woman, Jessie George in 1986.

Modi is not an isolated case. The present leader of the Opposition, Abdul Bari Siddiqui, is married to a Hindu.

Airhostesses have always been a favourite for Bihar politicians. Former Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan married Reena Sharma, an airhostess — his second marriage after divorcing his first wife.

Rajeev Pratap Rudi also married Neelam Pratap — a resident of Himachal Pradesh and an employee of Indian Airlines. When her husband got the Union aviation ministry, the wife got a long leave.

Another BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain had an inter-religion marriage with Renu Hussain. Even don-turned-politicians like Anand Mohan and Pappu Yadav are reported to have love marriages to Lovely Anand and Ranjita Ranjan respectively.

Bihar’s minister for food and consumer protection Shyam Rajak married a Mumbai-based girl, Alka, in 2001. Rajak then was a junior minister in the Rabri ministry. Love blossomed when Alka met him in connection with her research work. Lalu and several other leaders went to attend his marriage in Mumbai. “Why just politicians? Everybody should indulge in love marriage and inter-caste wedding. It strengthens the social bonding,” Rajak told The Telegraph.