Mewa Lal (55) could not believe his eyes when Priyanka Gandhi Vadra turned up at the wedding reception of his son Phool Chand Sahu (25) this afternoon at his residence in Chitaipur village about 30 km from here.
Phool Chand Shahu has remained closely associated with the Gandhi family for some time and at present works with Robert Vadra in New Delhi. Mewa Lal is a peon at Hanfi Inter College near the village. So when he saw Priyanka accompanied by her husband in front of his house Mewa Lal was dumbfounded.
But Phool Chand welcomed the VVIP guests and took them inside the house. He introduced them to his wife and other family members. He along with his wife Anshu garlanded Priyanka and her husband and touched their feet.
Priyanka and Robert had some snacks and tea there. As Priyanka spoke to the bride in a special enclosure the guests were seen struggling to have a glimpse of the VVIP guests. Before leaving they posed for a group photograph the Phool Chand's family.
But Phool Chand tried to keep away from the media glare and refused to answer any questions. "I invited them for the reception. I was not sure whether she will come. We could have made arrangements on a larger scale," he said to some of his guests. "Priyanka has been saying that Amethi is like a family to her. Today she is keeping her words," said one of the villagers who had assembled on both sides of the road to welcome Priyanka.
A special pandal erected outside the house for the guests also gave an empty look. SPG didn't allow any guests there. So guests struggled to reach the venue at a distance. "We are invited for the reception. Mewa Lal gave a personal invitation to us. But SPG has pushed us away," said Sridhar Tiwari, principal of Hanfi Inter College. Others who included teachers of the same college also had similar complaints. Some of them even began leaving. But soon Mewa Lal came running with folded hands and requested the guests to wait as he arranged some folding cots and chairs for the guests.
Soon some sweets were sent for the guests who later joined other villagers to have a glimpse of Priyanka. As she left Priyanka waived to the crowd while the beaming host thanked everyone present there for their cooperation. Priyanka also interacted with the members of a women self help group at Khalispur near Jais in Rae Bareli. Priyanka heard problems of the members and reviewed the progress made by the group.