Varun ties the knot, aunt Sonia misses ceremony

The rhapsodic ragas of shehnai and sonorous sound of conches reverberated the Kamkoteshwar temple.

Updated: Mar 06, 2011, 14:59 PM IST

Varanasi: Gandhi scion and BJP MP Varun Gandhi tied the knot with graphic designer Yamini Roy at the Kamkoteshwar temple here on Sunday morning, but his aunt Sonia Gandhi and cousins Rahul and Priyanka did not attend.

A group of priests, headed by Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati, performed the wedding rituals before limited guests.

"Everything was performed very well as per the Hindu, Sanatani traditions," Saraswati told reporters shortly after conducting the marriage.

When reporters asked Varun why his cousin Priyanka Gandhi Vadra could not make it to the wedding, he said: "Priyanka is unwell."

His aunt, Congress party chief and United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi, and his cousin and Congress party general secretary Rahul Gandhi too did not attend the ceremony.

Asked how he was feeling now that he was married, an elated Varun said he was "feeling great".

His mother, MP Maneka Gandhi said, "I want the entire country to bless the couple", when asked what she wished for the newlywed couple.

The rituals started at around 6.30 am in the `Brahm Mahurat` (auspicious time) and continued till 9 am, after which the newlywed couple made a brief appearance before hundreds of mediapersons, locals and others.

Holding his mother`s hands, Varun, 30, stood besides Yamini, 28, as shutterbugs jostled for space to get the best shot for the much-awaited ceremony.

Dressed in dhoti-kurta - a traditional attire - Varun acknowledged the greetings extended by the journalists with folded hands, while Yamini, draped in a pink coloured sari, smiled at the crowd.

The Kamkoteshwar temple on Hanuman Ghat, one of the most sacrosanct temples in the holy city of Varanasi was decorated for the occasion as hundreds of district police, provincial armed constabulary (PAC) and other security personnel stood guard.

Tonnes of flowers from other states, including West Bengal and Gujarat, filled the atmosphere with their fragrance.

Earlier on Saturday, the haldi rasm (a pre-marriage ceremony) was performed at a simple function in the temple complex. While Gandhi wore a cream-coloured kurta-pyjama, Roy was dressed in a light pink sari for the ritual.

"Both of them (Gandhi and Roy) will lead a happy life," Saraswati had said on Saturday.

Varun`s wedding reception in Delhi, slated for March 08, had been cancelled following the death of his grandmother. Amteshwar Anand, 77, mother of Maneka Gandhi, died on February 28 in New Delhi.