Gali Janardhan Reddy has invited 50,000 people.
While common folks across India are waiting for hours at banks and ATM centers to withdraw petty cash after the government’s demonetization move, a politician in Karnataka is making headlines by spending reportedly at least more than Rupees 30 crores (around $5 million) for his daughter’s wedding.
Former Karnataka state minister and mining baron Gali Janardhan Reddy has roped in art directors from Bollywood to build a palatial venue for the marriage which will take place in Bengaluru Palace grounds on Wednesday.
A report by NDTV said that Reddy has recreated a model of the famous Vitthala temple of Hampi and the Cowl Bazaar in Chennai, and Tirumala Tirupati temple in Andhra Pradesh. Attendees will be welcomed by flower elephants, musicians and giant balloons with images of the Reddys. The dining area is designed as a village in Bellary from where Reddy hails. The models of homes of bride Bramhani Reddy and groom Rajeev Reddy have also been installed.
Invitees can board bullock carts to travel from the entrance to the marriage hall. More than 40 bullock carts have been arranged for this. Around 50,000 people including actors, politicians, and businessmen are expected to attend the marriage that will be guarded by more than 3000 security men.
There were hints of a luxurious wedding when Reddy invited everyone in October with a box costing 10,000 rupees each that had an LCD screen playing a song featuring the Reddy family. Rumors are doing rounds that celebrities from Bollywood will attend the wedding and the key person will be Shahrukh Khan.
News 18 reported that the marriage is planned so as to make a way for the reentry of Reddy, who was arrested in 2011 in connection with illegal mining, into state politics. A member of the BJP, Reddy was released last year on bail.
Reddy has personally invited all important leaders, including former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, and former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa. While other BJP leaders haven’t spoken about the ceremony, Yeddyurappa told News 18 that he would attend the wedding.
“I don’t want to comment on what happened in the past. It is a wedding and I am going to attend,” he said.
But, there are a few politicians like senior Congress leader K C Kondaiah, who have raised their voice against Reddy.
“They believe that all publicity is good publicity. Four years in jail does not seem to have ended his ego and ambition. By using his daughter’s wedding he is trying to stage a comeback. The BJP which had distanced itself from him is once again entertaining him. I fear that he will play a big role once again in the 2018 Assembly polls. It won’t be a good news for our state,” Kondaiah was quoted as saying by News 18.
Meanwhile, an RTI activist T Narasimha Murthy has filed a complaint with the Income Tax department questioning the huge amount spent on the wedding. According to wedding planners, all of the payment has been paid upfront to event management companies by check and is accounted for. Reddy has also promised to produce all the bills before authorities.