Solapur: A team of over 2,000 dedicated `daughters` and their husbands are campaigning in Solapur for BJP`s Subhash Deshmukh who helped organise their community wedding.
As the crescendo reaches its peak for the October 15 Maharashtra Assembly Elections, Bharatiya Janata Party`s Subhash Deshmukh is garlanded by his family members, activists and along with groups of his 4,000 daughters and sons-in-law, he daily troops out for seeking votes in Solapur-South constituency.
Known affectionately as `Bapu` among his daughters and sons-in-laws, Deshmukh`s campaign turns out to be the most unique among the 4,117 candidates contesting the elections in the state.
"Since over seven years, I have conducted community marriages for over 2,000 girls, hailing from poor economic backgrounds, different castes and religions. They are all my daughters and sons-in-law," a proud Deshmukh said.
Now, they are repaying the Deshmukh`s fatherly gesture of doing their `kanyadaan` which their own parents could ill-afford, and some orphans would never dream of.
All the 2,000 girls and their husbands, and in some cases, even small children and elderly family members, have hit the campaign trail along with Deshmukh, or independently going door-to-door and seeking votes on his behalf.
Next month, Deshmukh has scheduled another community mass marriage programme through his NGO, Lokmangal Group.
"I organise the community weddings through the help of supporters and well-wishers. We give a basic household kit to enable the young couple start their new life comfortably. Later, when any of them is blessed with a female child, I deposit Rs.5000 in their bank account which the girl can withdraw after she turns 18," Deshmukh said.
One such beneficiary of his scheme said that Bapu Deshmukh`s initiative ensured that he got a suitable match and the girl`s family was prevented from selling off its small plot of agriculture land to take care of her marriage expenses.
Thanks to this social initiative, Deshmukh is a household name in his constituency and surrounding regions and his `daughters and sons-in-law` are welcomed happily and sent back with positive promises.