BENGALURU: Taxmen have gatecrashed the blockbuster wedding of Karnataka politician and mining tycoon Gali Janardhan Reddy's daughter today in Bengaluru, which has been widely criticized at a time a currency ban has left millions facing a cash crunch.
Up to 50,000 people have been invited to the wedding at the Bangalore Palace grounds, where Bollywood art directors have helped create elaborate sets replicating the Vitthala temple of Hampi and the Cowl Bazaar in Chennai, besides the homes of the bride and the groom.
Sources in the Income Tax department say the wedding is being closely monitored and officials have discreetly visited the wedding. "We are interested in quantifying the expenditure in such a big event," said an official.
The CBI and other agencies are yet to track down the source of the wealth of Mr Reddy, who is being investigated in several cases of illegal mining.
The extravagance has been attacked at a time thousands are struggling for cash to eat after the government's shock move last week to pull Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes out of circulation to tackle tax evasion.
Relatives say around 30 crores has been spent on the wedding and most of it long before demonetization. The guests include top ministers, politicians and celebrities.
"Self-respecting people will not attend such an ostentatious event," said state minister KR Ramesh Kumar. But many politicians, including former chief minister and BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa, have showed up.
Mr Reddy, 49, was a minister in Mr Yeddyurappa's government. He spent three years in jail for his alleged involvement in a mining scam before he was released on bail last year.
The "big fat wedding" was raised in parliament as opposition leaders hit out at the BJP for the notes ban.
Speaking to journalists in his home town Bellary last week, he refused to reveal how much he was spending on the wedding but said everything would be declared to the tax authorities.
He has hired some 3,000 bouncers and security guards and flown in Brazilian dancers for the event.
The invitation in October came in a box with an LCD screen playing a song featuring the Reddy family.