BENGALURU -- Mining baron and former minister Janardhan Reddy's extravagant wedding arrangements for his daughter has evoked national outrage.
With the replica of a golden palace, invitation cards with LCD screens and trousseaux costing tens of millions of rupees, the extravagant nuptial is said to have cost Reddy an estimated five billion rupees.
Over 50,000 guests attended the wedding, which was held on the Bangalore Palace grounds on 16 November.
The larger-than-life wedding kick-started with money being lavishly spent on gold-plated invitations fitted with LCD screens, on which the businessman reportedly spent about five crore rupees ($7,35,000).
Leading Bollywood art directors were roped in to set up the venue as a replica of the landmark Vittala Temple of Hampi, an ancient village and a UNESCO world heritage site.
Local media reported the bride's wedding saree costed a whopping 170 million rupees and she wore kilos of sparkling diamond jewellery costing around 900 million rupees as she walked out to greet the guests.
The wedding came a week after the government decided to abolish two of its largest bank notes in a shock move to fight tax evasion, corruption and forgery.
But the ostentatious display of wealth during a time of severe cash crisis hasn't gone down well with locals, most of whom are lining up at banks and ATMs every day to exchange their old notes amid strict caps on withdrawal.
"I heard he is spending 500 crore on his daughter's wedding. We are standing here in queues to get our hands on rupees 4, 000. How has he got so much money?" said a labourer Rafique.
Chaotic scenes have unravelled across the country in the last week. About 47 people have reportedly died in the aftermath, including children who were denied treatment by hospitals, and several aged people who collapsed while standing in serpentine queues.
Around 3,000 security men were deployed for the security of the guests as the bride- Brahmani, 21, tied the knot with 23-year old Rajeev Reddy, the son of a Hyderabad-based industrialist.
The star invites were ferried on cushioned bullock carts, adding more pomp to the ceremony.
While the grandeur of the wedding has been largely criticised, some however, said the money spent will help the poor.
"It is because of those who spend their money that helps the poor earn their livelihood. What is the use of those rich people who hoard their money, which does not benefit anyone? The money being spent here is helping to feed a lot of households," said a guest at the wedding, Nathan Jain.
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