Lavish wedding of politician’s daughter stirs outrage during cash crisis

A southern Indian politician caused outrage among cash-starved people after reportedly spending millions on an extravagant wedding for his daughter.

BENGALURU, INDIA (NOVEMBER 16, 2016) (ANI) – A southern Indian politician sparked outrage among cash-starved people after organising an extravagant wedding in Bengaluru on Wednesday (November 16) for his daughter, reportedly costing him millions of dollars.

Local media reported that Gali Janardhana Reddy’s daughter Brahmani was thrown a wedding worth an estimate of 5 billion rupees ($73.5 million) and attended by 50,000 people.

Huge crowds surrounded the wedding venue, a replica of the UNESCO world heritage site Sri Vitthala Temple of Hampi, on Wednesday ahead of the ceremony’s start.

But local residents criticised the timing of the event as millions of people queued outside banks across the country after a government crackdown on “black money” led to massive cash shortages.

“We are standing here in queues to get our hands on 4,000 rupees ($58). How has he got so much money?” said local resident Rafique.

India is the world’s second biggest gold buyer, and it is estimated that one-third of its annual demand of up to 1,000 tonnes is paid for in black money – untaxed funds held in secret by citizens in cash that don’t appear in any official accounts.

Janardhana Reddy, 49, was a minister of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party until July 2011. He spent three years in jail in an illegal mining case and was released on bail last year.