BENGALURU: Demonetisation may have sucked the cash out of the economy but did nothing to dim the lights of the big fat wedding of the season, the betrothal of the daughter of Gali Janardhan Reddy, former Karnataka minister and mining baron accused of multiple scams.
The pre-nuptial bash at the Palace Grounds here had much to pop eyes at but also to note the incongruity: huge sets capturing the grandeur of the Vijayanagar empire competed for attention with the recreated rusticity of a village, just as samba dancers from Brazil jostled with Kathakali artistes from Kerala. Among the lesser lights of the day was a paan counter, said to have cost a mere Rs 25 lakh to set up, handed out Janardhan Reddy's favourite Gulzar pan from Ballari.
The irony of this wedding bang amidst the current crackdown against the poor Rs 500 note could not have been lost. And to complete the irony, the pantheon of the BJP, state party president B S Yeddyurappa and former chief ministers Jagadish Shettar and DV Sadananda Gowda, attended the fuction, after having raised talk that they would stay away.
Sources privy to the arrangements estimated that Janardhan Reddy, who is facing multiple charges of illegal mining of iron ore, is spending around Rs 150 crore on the wedding tomorrow. However, a complaint lodged with the Income Tax Department estimated the figure to be around Rs 650 crore.
There were 180 bouncers to mind the show, and the menu was vegetarian with a lot of variety – south, north, east and west.
The celebrations started Tuesday night with a procession of dancers from India and abroad and foreigners in traditional attire welcoming guests. Stars and singers like Yash, Arun Sagar, Anushree, Haripriya, Shankar-Mahadevan, K S Chitra and Vijay Prakash entertained the audience.
The bride’s name is Brahmani and the groom’s Rajeev Reddy.