For Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president and its master strategist Amit Shah Tuesday was perhaps both the best and worst day of his life.
Shah's only son, Jay, got married in a toned down ceremony after his party suffered a humiliating defeat in the national capital as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) bulldozed the BJP in the Delhi assembly polls. While the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP won 67 of Delhi's 70 seats, Shah's party managed only 3.
On his most joyous day, sense of defeat was palpable in Shah's body language which just a day before the defeat exuded confidence of better performance if not victory in the capital. The party faced complete rout for the first time after Shah took over as the party chief following the parliamentary polls last year.
"As soon as it became evident that the AAP would sweep by 9am, Amitbhai became a little nervous and the mood at his residence as well as the wedding venue became sombre," a BJP worker involved in the wedding preparations said.
According to him, when Shah and other top ministers and leaders realised that the BJP's tally would be reduced to single digit, instructions were issued to not burst fire crackers or play any music.
"Though, nobody talked about politics and discussed the poll results as it was a family function, the mood in the air was quite ordinary rather than festive," another party worker said.
"That the BJP may lose the polls was expected but what came as shocking was complete rout of the party which meant that the entire strategy failed in the Capital."
The wedding in Ahmedabad was a close-knit affair but the guest list was impressive. It was attended by Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Piyush Goyal, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, JP Nadda and Dharmendra Pradhan, party patriarch LK Advani, Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das, Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel and industrialists Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani at the YMCA club in the city.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ashok Singhal and Rajya Sabha member Parimal Nathwani were also present. Dozens of religious saints like Baba Ramdev, Acharya Dharmendra and others were there to bless Jay and Rishita.
The wedding rituals, which lasted over two hours, were performed by Hindu priests from Mathura and Varanasi.||
BJP chief Amit Shah with his newly married son, daughter-in-law, yoga guru Ramdev and other guests in Ahmedabad. (Courtesy: BJP handout photo)