Over 1,000 couples to tie knot today

In what can termed as a mother-of-all-weddings, 1,016 couples will assemble in a ground in Virar to exchange marital vows

Kshitij Thakur, 28, who is a Member of the Legislative Assembly from Nalasopara, will tie the knot with his childhood sweetheart Prachi Galvankar today. But Galvankar won't be the only blushing bride at this ceremony.

The mass wedding will be conducted by 150 priests

Along with them, 1,015 couples will also be joined in holy matrimony at an all religion mass wedding ceremony that is to be held in Virar today. The marriages will be solemnised by 150 priests and attended by two lakh guests. Thakur in fact is the youngest MLA ever to be elected to the Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha, a feat he achieved in 2009 at the age of 26 when he secured a victory margin of over 40,000 votes to his nearest rival.

He is also the nephew of Maharashtra's Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Patil.

Kshitij Thakur at his haldi ceremony a day before the wedding.
Pics/Nimesh Dave

State dignitaries like Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Patil and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar are expected to attend the mass wedding that will take place at the 250-acre Chandansar ground in Virar. Five hundred policemen have been alerted to stand guard during the ceremony, while 7,000 volunteers will help with food and other arrangements.

Viva Thakur Charitable Trust, founded by the MLA's family in 1991, volunteered to take care of the costs for wedding ensembles and makeup for the couples. The trust, which runs schools, colleges and health care facilities in the city, will also provide free medical check-ups for the brides at the time of their first two pregnancies. "For couples who are not financially sound, the trust will also bear the cost of education and books for their first two children," said Patil.

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