Bharatiya Janata Party member of Parliament Varun Gandhi wed graphic designer Yamini Roy Chowdhury in a simple ceremony attended by a handful of people in a temple on the banks of the Ganga in Varanasi on Sunday.
30-year-old Varun, who was in a cream 'kurta-dhoti' with saffron 'angvastram', got married to Yamini, a brahmin, at a ceremony in Kamakoti Temple at Hanuman Ghat in which Kanchi Shankaracharya Swami Jayendra Saraswati participated. Yamini, who is from Shantiniketan in West Bengal and has studied in Delhi's St Stephens college and in France, wore a pink saree which had been gifted by Indira Gandhi to her daughter-in-law Maneka, an MP from Aonla in Uttar Pradesh, 40 years ago.
The BJP's Hindutva posterboy, Varun, who is an MP from Pilibhit, is the youngest grandchild of late Indira Gandhi and son of late Sanjay Gandhi. With shehnai playing amidst blowing of conch shells, the ceremony, presided over by six priests, took place between 0730 hrs and 0900 hrs in the presence of a select gathering that besides Maneka included the girl's mother Aruna Vasudev. Neither any senior BJP leader nor any one from Sonia Gandhi's family was present.
A source close to Varun claimed that the BJP MP had met Sonia earlier to invite her for the reception. The marriage took place as per Sanatan-Hindu customs. "The marriage went off very well. I have blessed the couple," Jayendra Saraswati told reporters. "We are very happy the wedding took place in Varanasi. It is the heart of India. We are very blessed that we got this opportunity," Maneka, the estranged daughter-in-law of Indira Gandhi, said.
Aruna Vasudev said, "I am very happy. The wedding took place in a proper manner. I am happy to get a son-in-law like him (Varun)...They are also very lucky to get a good daughter-in-law." Soon after the ceremony, the newly-weds took 'prasad' in the temple and then left for a hotel. Later they took a chartered flight for Delhi. The media was not allowed inside the temple during the marriage rituals.
The reception scheduled for March 8 in Delhi has been cancelled following the death of 77-year-old Amteshwar Anand, Varun's maternal grand mother, on February 28. The 'haldi' pre-marriage ceremony of Varun had taken place at the Kamakoti temple last evening. Among others present at the marriage were Bansgaon MP Kamlesh Paswan, Varanasi Mayor Kaushalendra Singh and member of the Bijnore royal family Bharatendu Singh.