The who’s who of the Kannada and Telugu film industry attended the wedding ceremony and wished the newly wed.Marked by enormous opulence, the blockbuster wedding of mining baron and former minister B Janardhan Reddy’s daughter took place at the sprawling Palace Grounds in Bengaluru, raising a firestorm of controversy and attracting criticism from from anti-corruption activists.
National Committee for Protection of Natural Resources (NCPNR) founder president SR Hiremath, who has filed cases in the Supreme Court against illegal mining in Ballari, wants the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate, Central Vigilance Commission, and a special investigation team appointed by the Supreme Court to raid Reddy’s house and ask for the source of funds behind this extravagant wedding.
According to a report in the lavish wedding has attracted the attention of income-tax officials, who are set to question the former minister.
The five-day extravaganza, with ceremonies held against the backdrop of lavish settings, concluded on Wednesday as the ostentatious wedding stirred up a huge row over its timing, when people across the country were reeling under cash crunch after demonetisation of high-value currencies.
Palace grounds, which host grand weddings, presented almost a surreal picture as Reddy’s daughter Bramhani entering into the wedlock with Rajeev Reddy, a leading businessman’s son from Andhra Pradesh, with rituals conducted by a battery of priests from the famous Tirumala temple.
The grandeur of the wedding was such that huge sets replicating Vijaya Vitthala temple of Hampi, the seat of the glorious erstwhile Vijayanagara empire and TirumalaTirupati temple were erected at the venue, along with the replica of the homes of both of bride and the groom.
Pre-wedding events have been on with equal extravagance at the venue for the past five days. Artistes and dancers from different parts of the country, including Sambadancers from Brazil, were part of one such bash on Wednesday night.
The first glimpse of the wedding came in the invitation box, which had an LCD screen playing a video where Reddy and family were seen inviting guests, lip-syncing to a song.
Thousands of people attended the event and were given saplings along with sweets as a return gift.
It is said about 50,000 people had been invited to the wedding and people were also ferried from Reddy’s bastion, mine-rich Ballari.
Reddy and family dressed up as “royals” in gold and diamond had left no stone unturned for the wedding.
Most utensils for the wedding rituals were either gold or silver and the entire venue was equipped with air-conditioners.
While overflowing fountains added to the glitter, orchids and other ornamental flowers were arranged fancily.
The who’s who of the Kannada and Telugu film industry attended the wedding ceremony and wished the newly wed.
Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala, Home Minister G Parameshwara, Energy Minister D K Shiva Kumar, Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy, BJP state President B S Yeddyurappa were among prominent leaders who attended.
Even as there were reports that BJP leaders would stay away from the wedding that has come at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced “war” on black money, there was alineup of leaders of the party at the event.
Equally surprising was the attendance of senio rCongress ministers.
Congress had waged a political war against Reddy and his brothers by staging a padayatra till Ballari. They had alleged that he had created “republic of Ballari” and the then BJP government had no authority there.
Reddy, who had served as a minister in the BJP government,is out on bail after serving three years term inan illegal mining case.