Nepal PM puts Devyani before new government
Mar 30, 2007 - 6:14:25 PM
Kathmandu, March 30 - While all Nepal anxiously awaited formation of a new government, rumoured to be announced Friday, and leading parties engaged in daylong negotiations, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala chose to put before politics Devyani Singh nee Rana, who has returned home as an Indian bride.
Nepal's ruling seven-party alliance and the Maoist guerrillas began parleys from the morning to reach an agreement on power sharing, a lengthy negotiation that has been in the limbo for nearly a month due to Koirala's alleged reluctance to share key portfolios with allies.
Angered by the delay, the Maoists have been blowing hot and cold towards the idea of joining the government, accusing Koirala of being manipulated by the US.
But the eight-party parleys were shelved in the afternoon as Koirala headed for the Tribhuvan Army Officers' Club in Kathmandu to attend a reception by opposition leader Pashupati Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana for the wedding of his daughter Devyani to Aishwarya Singh, grandson of Indian Human Resource Development - Minister Arjun Singh.
It was a simple programme in Kathmandu after the opulent wedding in New Delhi last week where ministers, film stars, top industrialists and the aristocracy of Nepal and India had gathered.
While Devyani's father is the grandson of Mohan Shumsher Rana, the last all-powerful prime minister of Nepal, her mother Usha Rana nee Scindia comes from the royal family of Gwalior and is the sister of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
There was no sign of the fabled Rana jewels as both the bride and her mother wore minimum jewellery.
Devyani was radiant in a red sari while her groom looked casual in whites topped by a black coat.
Asked if the sari was also specially created for the occasion, she laughed: 'It's because this was given to me by my in-laws.'
After prayers at the Pashupatinath temple Saturday followed by a smaller luncheon with family members and close friends at the Soaltee Crowne Plaza hotel, it's back to Delhi for the bridal pair, where Aishwarya has his consultancy firm and Devyani works with the UN.
There are no honeymoon plans, at least not immediately.
'I have no leave,' Devyani told IANS. 'I had meningitis before the wedding and used up almost all my leave.'
Devyani's wedding and embarking on a new life is in a way indicative of the new Nepal that has also decided to put its past behind it.
There was little curiosity in Nepal about the wedding of the girl who had once been the love of crown prince Dipendra. The romance ended in national tragedy in 2001 when the king and queen of Nepal along with eight more royals were gunned down in the Narayanhity royal palace in Kathandu.
Though the massacre was first blamed on the crown prince, who was said to have been furious at his parents' opposition to his plan to marry Devyani, there have been doubts about the carnage since then and the incident remains shrouded in mystery and secrecy.
The new spirit of live and let live was apparent from the guest list with both King Gyanendra and Maoist chief Prachanda invited, though on different days.
Also, probably marking a departure from all past traditions, no liquor was served though there were 22 sumptuous dishes to make up for that.
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