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News: IANS
Pictures: Rons Bantwal - Daijiworld News Network Mumbai

Mumbai, Aug 29: Rahul Mahajan, the headline-grabbing son of late Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) leader Pramod Mahajan, married Tuesday - a ceremony that once again became a media event and drew several political leaders to the city.

Rahul, who was arrested for suspected drug abuse in June and then released on bail, married airline pilot Shweta Singh. His choice, the family said, was approved by his late father who was one of BJP's stalwarts at the time of his sudden death.

The simple, traditional ceremony that took place at 11.30 a.m. at a banquet hall in Worli in south-central Mumbai, comes less than four months after Pramod Mahajan died of gunshot injuries inflicted by his brother Pravin.

The event was covered live by many TV networks who have been trailing the 31-year-old Rahul ever since his father's death and his subsequent arrest after an alleged drug-laced party at his late father's Delhi bungalow barely a month after his death.

Several bigwigs, including union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah as well as industrialists Anil Ambani and Rahul Bajaj, attended the function.

The BJP was represented by L.K. Advani, Venkaiah Naidu, Ananth Kumar, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Kalraj Mishra and Smriti Irani apart from Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray.

Former deputy chief minister and BJP leader Gopinath Munde, who is married to Pramod Mahajan's sister Pradnya, greeted the guests along with Rahul's mother Rekha and sister Poonam.

"The wedding ceremony was kept simple in the wake of the recent death of Pramod Mahajan, the subsequent arrest of Pravin and the arrest of Rahul in a drug abuse case," said senior BJP leader Ganesh Hake.

"The guest list, which includes senior national BJP leaders, should put to rest all rumours about the party trying to distance itself from the Mahajan family. We are with the family in their most trying time," Hake told IANS.

No one from Pravin's family was present at the wedding.

The Mahajan family's ordeal began with the assault on Pramod Mahajan April 22 at his Worli residence by his brother Pravin and his death on May 3.

A Delhi court Monday allowed Rahul, facing prosecution in a drug abuse case, to visit Seychelles for his honeymoon between August 30 and Sep 11.

Delhi police have filed a charge sheet against Rahul and five others in the case.

Rahul, along with Bibek Moitra, a close aide of Pramod Mahajan, were brought to a Delhi hospital on the morning of June 2. Moitra was declared brought dead, while Rahul was in critical condition following an alleged overdose of drugs the night before.


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