RJD supremo Lalu Prasad’s youngest daughter Raj Lakhsmi exchanged rings with SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s grandnephew Tej Pratap Singh at an engagement ceremony in a Delhi farmhouse on Tuesday.
Tej Pratap — known in the family as Teju —had won the by-election to the Lok Sabha seat of Mainpuri in September, becoming the youngest MP of the 16th Lok Sabha at 26. Raj Lakhsmi, 24, is the youngest of the seven daughters of Lalu and Rabri Devi.
The “low-key affair”, meant only for the family and a few friends, was hosted at the posh Shakuntala Farms banquet hall on M G Road, which was also the wedding venue of Lalu’s another daughter.
In a cream, heavily embroidered anarkali — the creation of a Delhi-based designer — Raj Lakshmi was quite a head-turner and waited with her family to welcome her would-be fiancé. Tej Pratap, wearing a dapper black sherwani, arrived with his entourage of family and friends in the afternoon.
Earlier, Tej Pratap has often said he had spoken to Raj Lakshmi for the first time only after the match was approved by the families’ elders.
The match, made by the two friends-turned-foes-turned-friends-again Lalu and Mulayam earlier this year, is being viewed as the political matchmaking of the season. The wedding is slated on February next year. Of late, Lalu and Mulayam, battered by the recent political setbacks, thanks to the rise of the BJP, had joined hands to reunite the erstwhile Janata pariwar.
None of the political bigwigs from Lutyen’s Delhi’s power circles were spotted at the function, although JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav was in attendance. “It’s a new beginning for all. I wish the families well. It’s time to forget old issues and start afresh,” Yadav told reporters.
Lalu and Mulayam shared a blow-hot-blow-cold relationship. The Mulayam camp believed that Lalu had played a role in thwarting Mulayam’s chances to be the PM in 1996. Old friends who turned foes, Ram Kripal Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan were not spotted.
The 66-year-old Lalu, who recently underwent an open-heart surgery, braved the December chill to lead the family in welcoming the groom’s side.