In yet another big fat wedding in the times of cash crunch, bar hotelier Biju Ramesh, who hurled bribery charges against the previous UDF regime, on Sunday got his daughter married in lavish style, with the reception venue modelled upon the famed Akshardam temple.
Though the wedding itself was solemnised in a local temple this morning, the evening reception was an overtly extravagant affair on an eight-acre venue at nearby Venpalavattam, attended by guests ranging from politicians to spiritual leaders.
Mr Ramesh’s daughter Megha tied the knot with Ajaykrishnan, son of senior Congress leader and former Revenue minister, Adoor Prakash in the temple.
However, prominent leaders and ministers of ruling LDF and opposition UDF were conspicuous by their absence.
It was only a couple of days ago that mining baron and former Karnataka BJP minister Janardhana Reddy had conducted the ostentatious wedding of his daughter in Bengaluru, days after the centre banned 500 and 1,000 rupee notes.
The lavishly decorated reception venue in Venpalavattom, resembling Delhi’s Akshardam Temple with an entrance designed like the historic Mysore Palace, has been in the news for a few days now.
Over 20,000 guests took part in the reception, marked by various cultural and entertainment programmes, including dance and music events.
A lavish spread of more than 100 dishes was laid out in a dining area that could accommodate 6,000 people at a time.
Mr Ramesh, who owns a hotel chain, engineering and hotel management colleges and construction business, had claimed that he was also facing problems of currency crunch.
Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan said in Kochi that the party believes in ‘austerity’ and does not favour lavish weddings. “Austerity is the benchmark of Indian National Congress.
If there is any issue regarding the wedding,the state Congress can bring it before the high command,” he said when asked about the lavish wedding of Adoor Prakash’s son.
The participation of former chief minister Oommen Chandy and Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala in the betrothal ceremony of the couple had kicked up a row last June with Kerala PCC chief V M Sudheeran coming up openly against it.
Mr Sudheeran had said then that the senior leaders should have stayed away from the function as it would send a “wrong message” to the public.
He had also said that Biju was a person who had “tainted” the image of the UDF government and put it on the “brink of a crisis”.
Mr Ramesh’s bribery charges had led to the fall of two ministers in the previous Oommen Chandy government.
(With inputs from PTI)