- The BJP, Congress and JDS will reportedly skip the wedding
- The massively expensive wedding is triggering a large backlash
At a time when PM Modi's black money crackdown has halted the entire nation, BJP's own former minister Reddy is holding a lavish multi-crore wedding.
This despite the fact that he is currently under investigation for widespread corruption, was jailed for 40 months and is currently out on bail.
Across Karnataka, a rising tide is questioning how he, who had his assets seized by the CBI, is even paying for this affair. Sources say IT department officials are already placing the wedding under a scanner.
All of this is proving too hot to handle for Karnataka's politicians, who were all due to attend the wedding. But now most of them are having second thoughts.
Sources say that the BJP high command has strictly instructed the state leaders not to attend the high-profile marriage function of Brahmani, daughter of Gali Janardhana Reddy, scheduled on 16th November in Bengaluru's Palace Grounds.
The Congress has alleged that Janardhana Reddy is spending his black money and all the leaders of Congress, including CM Siddaramaiah, have also decided not to attend the lavish marriage.
KR Ramesh Kumar, the Minister for Health and Family Welfare, has already announced his boycott for the wedding and has questioned the moral stand of the former minister who is spending lavishly while the state suffers from famine. For a while, he remained the only high profile Congress leader to boycott the wedding, though the situation now has dramatically changed.
Ramesh Kumar married at the prime of his career - when he was the Chief Secretary of the KPCC in 1977. "Even at that time when I had attained the height of my political career, I opted for a simple marriage. A public exhibition of wealth is an insult to society," he said.
Last year Ramesh Kumar had proposed a bill to curb lavish weddings. But so far the government has not considered the proposal.
Earlier former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda had expressed his willingness to attend the marriage. However, JDS leaders are also having second thoughts about attending the wedding.
Besides, Narasimha Murthy, RTI worker has filed a complaint with the Director General of Income Tax Department with regards to the wedding. In the complaint, he has said that Reddy is evading taxes and appealed for a probe into the source of the money - since Reddy has spent 40 months in jail.
“While the central government has put a ban on ₹ 500 and ₹ 1000 currencies, how Reddy is managing the expenses and why the officers of IT department have not bothered to probe on this matter?” he has asked in the complaint.
Lokayukta report clearly says that the money that Reddy has accumulated is illegal. Referring to his constituency as ‘Ballari Republic’ the Lokayukta report says that he made the wealth by exploiting the natural resources of Ballari district.
Many film actors, business tycoons, politicians, and VVIPs are expected for the marriage. While Narendra Modi is putting every effort to curb black money and illegal assets - Gali Janardhana Reddy, mining baron and a member of the very same BJP party - is apparently unabashed.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:31 PM IST