Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday patted his cabinet minister Gopal Bhargava for setting an example by marrying off his two children in a mass marriage at Garhakota in Sagar.
“Bhargava has turned into a social reformer,” Chouhan said at a mass marriage function where 1350 couples from different castes, creed and religions, including two children of the minister, entered into wedlock at Garhakota region, some 40 km from here.
An MLA from Raheli assembly, Bhargava's son Abhishek, an MBA, wedded Shipli Acharya, a local girl, who is also an MBA, and daughter, Avantika, a doctor, tied the nuptial knot with Nitin Sharma, an engineer based in Boston, US, in a mass marriage ceremony, held under the Mukhya Mantri Kanyadaan Yojana.
"It is an honour to wed my children in this (mass marriage) ceremony,” Bhargava said. The minister has been a champion of mass marriages in the Bundelkhand region and helped organise various mass weddings where more than 14,000 couples have got married in 14 years.
“I was questioned by some people if I would marry off my children at such a mass marriage programme. So I decided to marry his son and daughter at such a ceremony. Such programmes help us get rid of casteism, which is a big obstacle in the path of country's progress,” he said.
State BJP in-charge Vinay Sahastrabudha also praised Bhargav's initiative.
The MP panchayat, rural development and social justice minister had also invited Prime Minister to his children's marriages.
“Few days ago, when I met the Prime Minister to invite him for weddings of my son and daughter. I told him that they would be married off in a mass marriage function. Modiji patted me saying that I was doing a good work,” Bhargava said.