All roads lead to Palace Grounds in Bengaluru as mining baron and former BJP minister Janardhana Reddy hosts his daughter’s big fat Rs 500 crore wedding.
Almost every politician and actor invited to the wedding has been making a beeline to the ground on Wednesday, as Brahmini Reddy tied the knot with Hyderabad-based industrialist Rajeev Reddy.
Despite the outlandish amount of money spent for the wedding and the corruption taint on Janardhana Reddy, the five-day wedding, which began on November 12, has seen a number of politicians and A-list celebrities attending the ceremony.
There were 50,000 guests invited to the lavish ceremony.
Actors Yash, Puneeth Rajkumar, Ravichandran, Sarath Babu, Brahmanandam and Suman Talwar were present for the main wedding event – the muharata- on Wednesday.
Among the attendees were Union ministers Sadananda Gowda and his wife, Venkaiah Naidu, BJP state president BS Yeddyurappa, BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje, MLA CT Ravi, former BJP minister Katta Subramanya Naidu, National general secretary of BJP Kailash Vijay Vargiya, former Chief Minister Jagdish Shettar and RSS leader Kaladka Prabhakar Bhatt.
The BJP and RSS leaders were in attendance in spite of reports that the BJP high command had asked leaders to stay away from the wedding. TNM had reported on Tuesday that this was not true, and BJP leaders would attend all ceremonies.
In fact Yeddyurappa and Janardhana Reddy hugged as well. The two BJP leaders have had a tumultous relationship over the years. At least twice during BS Yeddyurappa’s regime, Janardhana Reddy lead a rebellion and tried to unseat Yeddyurappa.
Karnataka governor Vajubhai Valla was present at the wedding.
Yeddyurappa said,”I have known Brahmani since she was a child. Hence, I have come to wish her for her wedding.”
Not just BJP leaders, Congress leaders attended the wedding too – Congress leader Ambareesh and his wife Sumalatha, Home Minister G Parameshwara, Energy Minister DK Shivakumar and Transport minister Ramalinga Reddy were present. Former CM of united Andhra Pradesh Kiran Reddy also attended the wedding.
Parameshawara said,”Because of our friendship and because Reddy invited me for his daughter’s wedding I came to bless the couple.”
Senior actors Jayanti, Bullet Prakash, Saroja Devi, Basavaraj Bommai and Lakshman attended the wedding.
Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah and former Prime Minister HD Devegowda said that they were not attending the wedding.
The wedding hall is a replica of the Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam.
Reddy built a model of his bungalow in Ballari’s Cowl Bazar, and a traditional Ballari village as he wanted his daughter to be married in the surroundings she grew up in.
On Tuesday, Bengaluru-based RTI activist and lawyer Narasimha Murthy filed a complaint with the Income Tax office in Bengaluru alleging that the mining baron had evaded tax.
Reddy, who was also a former BJP leader, was arrested by the CBI over charges of illegal mining cases. He was released on conditional bail in January 2015 after spending three years in jail.
Mining baron and former Karnataka minister Janardhana Reddy’s daughter’s wedding took off early on Wednesday with special poojas in famous temples. Bengaluru on the other hand, gradually witnessed traffic jams in some areas as people flocked to the venue.
Reddy’s daughter’s Brahmani’s wedding with P Rajeev Reddy is an extravagant affair, to put it mildly. The venue was created in Bengaluru’s Palace Grounds in the form of some of the ruins of the Vijayanagara empire which was based in Hampi.
Multiple ceremonies held over four days were attended by around 50,000 people. Among those who attended were several politicians like BS Yeddyurappa, DK Shivkumar, Jagdish Shettar, movie stars, celebrities and even the Karnataka Governor Vaju Bhai Vala.
On the day of the wedding ceremony, special poojas were offered early in the day.
The bride and groom during the reception
Brahmani and Rajeev, the groom went up to the kalyana mantapa in a procession in a horse-drawn chariot. Janardhan Reddy’s close associate B Sriramulu walked in front of the chariot.
The bridal procession comprised over 100 cultural troops including Brazilian samba dancers, kamsale, nandikolu kunita, tribal dance troupes. The procession took the couple right up to the mantapa, which was fashioned in the manner of the Tirupati Tirumala temple, including the famed temple’s seven doors.
Rajeev and Brahmani exchanged rings and the ceremony began as eight chief priests of the Tirupati temple conducted the ceremony for the couple according to the Dhanurlagna muhurtha. It began at 9.45 am and went on until 10.15am. As the ceremony was conducted, temples in Udupi, Savadatti, Kolhapur, Banashankri and Tirupati offered special poojas.
The seers of around 30 mutts were seated on a platform, below which the couple and their families were seated for the ceremony.
(with BJP leader Shobha Karandlaje)
Arrangements for the guests included an eating area that could seat 7,000 people at a time for the wedding lunch. A separate seating area was set up to serve lunch to 1,500 VIPs. Around 60 dishes are said to have been part of the menu.
After the wedding, the couple and their families will fly to Ballari in two special planes at 3.30pm that can seat 90 people each. In Ballari too, the couple is expected to go around town in a procession.
As the wedding took off, some parts of Bengaluru witnessed traffic jams. The stretch from Hebbal to Mekri Circle saw slower movement of traffic. Ballari Road saw increased vehicular traffic as buses ferrying people headed to the venue from Ballari, Reddy’s fiefdom. Around 20 traffic police have been deployed in addition to the regular cops posted in these areas.