When Congress MP Ranjeet Rajan introduced the Marriages (Compulsory Registration and Prevention of Wasteful Expenditure) Bill in the Lok Sabha, many lauded her efforts to curb the massive expenditure that goes into weddings in India. The MP from Bihar had said that marriages these days are more about showing off wealth which puts pressure on poorer families to spend more. She had said, “if any family intends to spend more than Rs 5 lakh towards expenditure on marriage, such family shall declare the amount proposed to be spent in advance to the appropriate government and contribute 10% of such amount in a welfare fund.
That seemed right till we read about the flamboyant MP’s (she once rode into the Parliament premises on a Harley Davidson) own wedding. As per reports, the MP and her family had arrived from Jalandhar to Purnia in a chartered plane for her wedding to MP Pappu Yadav in 1994. 200 acres of land was booked for the massive wedding with the entire city of Purnia in Bihar being invited. According to News18 Bihar, every hotel and guest house was booked, and the wedding had 1 lakh guests including Raj Babbar, Mulayam Singh and Lalu Prasad Yadav. There were an elephants and horses and the entire city was filled with a procession of vehicles. Santosh Yadav, one of the guests, said he had never seen such a wedding on such a large-scale.
Ranjeet Rajan has defended the accusations saying it was a political rally. We are yet to see a political rally with horses, elephants and free food. She admitted that her family was flown in from a chartered plane but insists it was arranged by the groom’s family. She told News 18 Hindi that her kids’ wedding will be fuss-free. We wonder if she manages to keep the cost under five lakh rupees, or at the very least, contributes 10 percent to a welfare fund.