CHANDIGARH: He may not have been a king to give up his throne for his beloved but what former Haryana deputy chief minister Chander Mohan has done - losing his high-profile job and family - to stand by his lover Anuradha Bali has lent a romantic colour to the otherwise dull Haryana politics.
Re-christened Chand Mohammad and Fiza after they embraced Islam and got married secretly in Uttar Pradesh's Meerut city last month, both have come out in the open to confess their love for each other.
"I love you, Fiza," Chand Mohammad said in full view of TV cameras here on Wednesday even as she replied smilingly: "I love you, too."
Chander Mohan was Monday disowned by his father, former Haryana chief minister Bhajan Lal, who said said the second marriage was a "shameless act". On Sunday, Chander Mohan was removed from the post of deputy chief minister for being "absent" and "neglecting" his work.
He now faces a fatwa (edict) for converting to Islam only to get married illegally a second time and is literally homeless.
But none of this has affected Chander Mohan, still a sitting four-time Congress legislator from the Kalka assembly seat adjoining Chandigarh.
"I was disowned by my father and family long back. I was being tortured and was suffering. When I could not take it any longer, I walked out of home on Diwali day (Oct 28). I am ready to face any challenge. I have not done this to make history," Chander Mohan told reporters at the house of his new wife.
"We have taken this decision (to convert and get married) after a lot of thought. We are not teenagers to take an impulsive decision. His name has Mohan and mine has Radha. We are a 'Radha-Mohan' jodi (pair). Our relationship is pious and has come from god. He is my hero," Bali, said adding that they had still not decided where to go for their honeymoon.
While Chander Mohan is 43 years old, Bali is 37. She was assistant advocate general in Haryana before her association with him cost her the job earlier this month. Chander Mohan has two teenaged children from his first wife, Seema Bishnoi. One of his sons died in March this year after prolonged illness.
Bali denied that she married Chander Mohan for his family's political tag or his money.
"In fact, I don't have any property in my name. My father had disowned me a long time ago. I have to find a house now to live. Even my security has been withdrawn. I want to spend my old age with her," Chander Mohan chipped in.
A bitter Chander Mohan made it clear that he would not go back to his family.
"Let them enjoy. I am a harsh type of man. I will not go to meet them or even allow my children to meet us," he said.
Chander Mohan said that despite being dropped from the ministry, he would remain loyal to the Congress. "If they deny me a ticket and give it to my first wife, Fiza will contest against her," he said.
Bali accused the Bhajan Lal family of adopting double standards. "When Kuldip Bishnoi (Chander Mohan's younger brother) was caught with a girl at a Delhi disco, no one disowned him. Chander Mohan is not a slur on the family. Who are they to question him?" she asked.
"Whosoever has loved has to make sacrifices. We are also doing it. I don't understand why people remember great lovers only after they leave the world," Bali said.
Referring to his sacking from the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government after his second marriage became known, Chander Mohan said he saw a "political motive" behind the move.
"I can vouch that 95 percent of the people in Haryana politics have a double life. I have come out and accepted it. I was upset and had gone on a pilgrimage. I had not neglected work and was clearing files till I learnt from TV channels that I had been dropped. If I was really missing, why did the government not try to find me? I was not underground," he said.
"I am not bound to tell the chief minister (Hooda) where I am. I don't care even if it has cost me my job. I am feeling on top of the world," Chander Mohan added.