G Janardhan Reddy is a man who has always hogged the limelight for the wrong reasons, be it by being indicted and jailed for the Karnataka mining scam to the recent controversy of him throwing a 500 crore wedding for his daughter around the time when demonetization was announced.
The wedding of his daughter was lavish to say the least, with the wedding cards having LCD screens, and him creating replicas of their ancestral Bellary home at the wedding venue for the effect of seeing his daughter off from his own home.
Such a lavish display of wealth plus his connections with the BJP looked like being an ideal punching bag for the eminent politicians and media persons:
Reddy is reported to be spending Rs 500 cr on his daughter’s wedding. How did Reddy get so much money in new currency? Will the PM answer? https://t.co/fpBuuoczGj
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 16, 2016
I met Kallu MCD sweeper who has no cash for daughter’s wedding. Then there’s Reddy Tamasha. What does SBI chief say? https://t.co/7VRwU9iXlN
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) November 16, 2016
Reddy, on his part clarified that he didn’t spend entire money in cash on a single day, for an event of such a grand scale requires months of preparation. However, that was not going to impress the Income Tax department.
The IT department has now served a notice containing 15 questions notice to Reddy to seek the details of the expenses incurred. His mining company in Bellary also been raided. Not just that, the event management firms which planned and executed his wedding also found taxmen at their doors.
This despite the fact that Reddy was supposed to have declared his wealth under the Income Declaration Scheme (IDS) earlier, as reported here. As pointed out in the report, it is entirely plausible that with such an infamous reputation of having illicit funds, Reddy probably wouldn’t have risked such an ostentatious display of wealth if he didn’t have his flanks covered. Nonetheless, the IT department acted and some celebrity journalists outraged.
Now a similar high scale wedding of the son of the Small-scale Industry Minister of Karnataka, Ramesh Jharkholi has taken place. It has been largely ignored by celebrity journalists and politicians who outraged on Reddy, even though the event took place on early this week.
The wedding had a whopping 1.5 lakh guests in an air-conditioned mandap. A helipad was built for VVIP guests. The day of the wedding clashed with that of a debate in the assembly on an important debate about the drought situation in Karnataka, but the former got the higher priority with many Congress MLA’s skipping assembly for the wedding.
The Congress leader has been fortunate that neither the celebrity journalists have outraged nor the Income Tax department has sent any notice so far. If and when the department does it, would be interesting to see if the notice is welcomed or is spun as a case of political vendetta against one’s opponents.