A lawmaker in Kishanganj district of north-eastern Bihar re-defined the trappings of a high profile wedding, by bringing his new wife home on a helicopter.
Mohammad Tausif Alam, 31, sitting Congress MLA from Bahadurganj, and his bride, boarded the chopper in Saturday, immediately after their post-wedding departure ceremony known as ‘rukhsati’.
Earlier, Alam had no less a persona than Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who had especially arrived there to be part of the festivities, perch the ‘sehra’ (wedding headgear) on his head in Saturday.
The Congress MLA married the daughter of Hazi Izhar Asafi at her native Barbatta village under Kathamatha panchayat of Kishanganj, of which Asafi is the mukhia.
Bihar Congress legislature party (CLP) Sadanand Singh, BJP MP Syed Shahnawaz Hussain and former union minister of state for home Mohammad Taslimuddin, were among 50,000-odd guests at the lavish wedding.
The wedding ceremony over, the couple made the 25-km trip from Barbatta to his native Gorgaon village in Bahadurganj, by the helicopter, which lay in wait for about four hours for the wedding ceremony to be over.
TV news channels showed bodyguards of Alam, who is into his second successive term as MLA from Bahadurganj, firing several rounds of ammunition in the air to “celebrate” his ‘rukhsati’.
This kicked off a controversy as Kishanganj SP Manoj Kumar said on Monday the police were verifying the identity of those involved in firing. “They will be book and their arms licences seized”, he said.
Sources claiming to be in the know, said the chopper was hired for the trip for a consideration of Rs 15 lakh. Alam, however, insisted the air service was a wedding gift from a close friend.
“My friend Khwaza Shahid of Barsoi (in the adjacent Katihar district) arranged the helicopter for me. I have no clue how much he hired it for”, the Congress MLA told HT on Monday.
Evidently proud that his wedding had become a talking point, Alam said over one lakh guests attended his wedding reception on Sunday at his native Gorgaon, about 7 km from the block headquarters town of Bahadurganj.
“I am so popular in this area that I had no option other than to organize such a grand feast. It is thanks to allah’s benefaction that it went off so well”, explained Alam, who hails from a landed family of Surjapuri muslims.
Surjapuri muslims constitute a big chunk of Kishanganj population and share their ethnicity with those of the community who inhabit the adjacent North Dinajpur district of West Bengal.
Even though Alam is evidently moneyed, the Bihar assembly website shows him as among only a very few MLAs who had not declared their assets either in 2012 or in 2013, even though this is mandatory.
When contacted, CLP leader Sadanand Singh declined to comment on the ostentation surrounding the wedding of Alam, one of just four Congress MLAs in the present 243-member house.