What lockdown? Kumaraswamy's son ties knot in a lavish ceremony
Social distancing rules apply to everyone but if you are a VIP, you can easily skirt them. This is what HD Kumaraswamy, the former Chief Minister of Karnataka, did this morning when he hosted a lavish wedding ceremony for his son Nikhil. At the venue, guests didn't follow lockdown rules or wore masks showing how non-serious they are about coronavirus. Know what happened here.
Nikhil married Revathi, the grandniece of Congress leader M Krishnappa. The wedding was earlier scheduled to take place in Bengaluru, which has been declared a coronavirus red zone by the Union Government. However, in the eleventh hour, the venue was shifted to a farmhouse in Ramanagara, some 28 km away from the state capital. Before the big day, the JD(S) leader released a video.
When he was Karnataka's CM, Kumaraswamy spent a great deal of time apologizing to his partymen for not living up to their expectations. He did the same this week by telling the loyalists that he wanted to invite them to Nikhil's wedding but WHO guidelines stopped him from doing so. He revealed the wedding would be a low-key affair, involving only family members.
"I request my well-wishers with folded hands, with pain and apologies - although I wanted to invite you all, these unavoidable circumstances mean it has to be limited. Please forgive me, please don't flout the rules, send them good wishes from home," he had said.
But when the final day arrived, everything that Kumarswamy said would happen, didn't. Pictures that have emerged on social media show dozens of guests standing dangerously close to one another as Nikhil and Revathi remained engrossed in wedding rituals. Several priests performed the ceremony. Kumaraswamy's father, former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, blessed the couple. Gowda is 86 years old, falling in the high-risk category.
#WATCH Karnataka: Nikhil Kumarswamy, son of former Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy, tied the knot with Revathi, the grand-niece of former Congress Minister for Housing M Krishnappa, today in Ramnagar. (Video source: anonymous wedding guest) pic.twitter.com/5DH9fjNshQ— ANI (@ANI) April 17, 2020
Earlier, The Print reported that the hosts would ensure all guidelines be followed. "There will be a team of doctors who will check every person. Sanitizers, special decontamination booths, and masks will be used at the location," an official from Kumaraswamy's office said. Kumaraswamy's media secretary KC Sadananda ruled out the possibility of shifting the dates. The auspicious dates were finalized earlier, he explained.
Apparently, the Karnataka government, run by BJP, knew about the wedding. Yesterday, state Education Minister Dr. K Sudhakar said Kumaraswamy promised no more than 30 guests would attend the ceremony. "It is a personal affair... since they are responsible people, they will understand and not exceed numbers and maintain social distancing protocol," the minister said. But the pictures showed Kumaraswamy didn't keep his word.
Drone video of former CM of Karnataka @hd_kumaraswamy's son Nikhil Kumaraswamy's marriage which happened today. Seems like concept of social distancing is only for poor and middle class and not applicable to ELITE CLASS.— Chiru Bhat | ಚಿರು ಭಟ್ (@mechirubhat) April 17, 2020
Easily more than 50 are present in this video.
As the wedding sparked a row, CN Ashwathnarayan, the Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka, said, "I have sought a report from Ramnagar Deputy Commissioner. I will speak to the Superintendent of Police, we need to take action otherwise it will be a complete mockery of the system." To note, MHA had ordered District Magistrates to overlook funerals/weddings and not allow a gathering.
While Nikhil, a film actor who contested Lok Sabha elections from Mandya seat (a JD(S) bastion) and lost, reveled in celebrations, coronavirus cases surged in Karnataka. 315 people have been infected with the deadly virus in the state and 13 passed away.