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Daughter of assassinated prime minister weds

February 18, 1997

NEW DELHI, India (AP) _ The bridegroom arrived draped in garlands of jasmine Tuesday to wed Priyanka Gandhi, the daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter of Indian prime ministers.

The bride married Robert Vadra, a 28-year-old businessman, in a ceremony where flowers and security were plentiful.

Vadra arrived Tuesday evening in a convoy of friends and relatives. The gates opened to receive him, revealing a metal detector decked with flowers. A white security wall was draped in garlands of marigolds and topped with a row of oil lamps.

The wedding was held in the government-owned home where Gandhi’s mother lives, on a tree-shaded avenue in central New Delhi.

Priyanka Gandhi, 26, has been the target of persistent unwanted suitors, one of whom went to court last month claiming he was married to her.

Gandhi’s father, Rajiv, was assassinated in 1991 and her grandmother, Indira, was assassinated in 1984.

Her great-grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru was India’s first prime minister after independence from Britain in 1947.

Although Rajiv Gandhi’s widow Sonia, son Rahul and daughter are not directly involved in politics, the family still wields enormous influence over the Congress Party, which has ruled India for most of the years since independence.

Indian President Shanker Dayal Sharma and Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda reportedly were on the list but Maneka Gandhi, widow of the bride’s uncle, reportedly was not. She has distanced herself from the family since losing a political power struggle.

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