Indian weddings can be extravagant affairs with couples often showered with lavish gifts and money on their big day.
But some families have come up with a more unusual idea for a wedding present.
For his son’s wedding, Subhash Rao Kishan Rao Yande from the southern city of Hyderabad – a longtime supporter of the country’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – asked guests to vote for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the upcoming general elections. It comes after another family from western Gujarat state reportedly did the same.
At first glance, the invite for Yande’s son Mukesh’s wedding appears to be like any other. But at the bottom it features the words: “Our gift is your vote for Modi in 2019 Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament) Election” nestled between two lotuses, the official party symbol of the BJP.
“It was my idea to include this on the invitation as I have always supported the BJP and I want them to win,” Yande, a retired engineer, told CNN.
“The guests have been supportive. Those that I have spoken to said they were happy to see that I’d taken this initiative to support the BJP. They say it’s a good thing.”
The family has invited more than a thousand people.
Wedding vote banks
The BJP isn’t the only party garnering potential votes through weddings. Earlier this year, a photo of an invite sent by a family in northern Haryana state asking guests to vote for the Aam Aadmi Party went viral on social media.
And last year, another photo of a wedding invitation had a note stating, “Vote for Congress.”
Another supporter of Modi also recently tweeted that he had included a whole section in his invite detailing the Prime Minister’s achievements.
India’s general elections, due to be held by May, will see 875 million eligible voters cast their ballots.
The 2019 polls are principally a contest between Modi’s BJP and the main opposition Congress Party, led by Rahul Gandhi, scion of India’s most influential political dynasty.
Given the staggering scale, the elections will take place over several weeks. A date is yet to be announced.