Even as Opposition leaders discussed serious politics in Bihar's Patna, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav triggered laughter in the hall when he raised the issue of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's marriage.
Speaking at the press conference after the meeting of Opposition parties in Patna, Lalu said that Rahul did not accept his earlier suggestion to get married but it's not late even now.
"He did not accept my earlier suggestion to get married. He should have got married. The time has not yet passed. Please get married and we would go to the marriage as 'baaratis'. Do get married. Accept our request," said Lalu in Hindi as Opposition leaders took turns to speak after the meeting hosted by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Lalu further said that Rahul's mother Sonia Gandhi has talked to him about Rahul's marriage.
"Your mummy has told me that you don't agree to her and has asked me to get you married," said Lalu amid laughter from the leaders present there.
Rahul replied, "Now that you have said, it will happen."
VIDEO | "Rahul Gandhi didn't follow my suggestion earlier. He should have married before. But still it's not too late," RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav quips at Rahul Gandhi after opposition meeting held in Patna.#OppositionMeetingpic.twitter.com/o22ICLTujM— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) June 23, 2023
Rahul, 53, is unmarried and has said in an earlier PTI interview that he would get married when he would find the right person.
He told PTI, "This is a question that comes all the time, all the time. Right now I am engaged in fighting the elections. Unfortunately I have not been focused on private life...When I find the right girl."
Rahul's personal life has been a subject of speculation for a long time and people, including from his own party and supporters, have asked him to get married over the years.
In the past, Rahul has been associated with Spaniard Veronica (also spelt as Veronique). A 2010 India Today story on the long-running speculation over Rahul's marriage noted that he was last seen with her publicly in 1999. A 2013 profile of Rahul in Business Standard notes that once a rumour spread that Rahul was visiting Amethi in Uttar Pradesh with Vernoica and half of the constituency came out to see them.
"In fact, on one of these trips, a rumour started making the rounds that Sameer Sharma and his fiancee were accompanying Rahul Gandhi and the mysterious Veronique to Amethi. Needless to say, half of Amethi, including the local MLA of the Samajwadi Party, turned up for the mooh dikhayee, to the complete bewilderment of Rahul Gandhi," said the Business Standard story.