Amid the ongoing nationwide lockdown in wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, scores of people thronged a farmhouse to get a glimpse of the wedding of former Prime Minister and JD(S) supremo, H.D. Deve Gowda’s grandson Nikhil Kumaraswamy.
People gathered in large numbers, ignoring appeals not to visit the venue where Nikhil, son of former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, tied the nuptial knot with Revathi, the grand-niece of former Karnataka housing minister M Krishnappa.
The marriage was solemnised at Kumaraswamy’s Kethaganahalli farmhouse at Bidadi in the neighbouring Ramanagara district, a JD(S) stronghold.
“The information we have is that at least 150 to 200 vehicles were given permission to attend the event. This happened when the social workers who want to serve the badly affected poor people are not getting permission to run their vehicles,” Ramanagar BJP district president M Rudresh alleged.
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“Till now Ramanagara is safe from coronavirus and is in the green zone. If at all the disease spreads in Ramanagara, the entire blame will be on Deve Gowda’s family,” Rudresh alleged.
He also said that he would meet the Deputy Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police of Ramanagara district and ask them how permission was granted for such a “large gathering.”
JD(S) MLC T.A. Sharavana denied allegations that the lockdown norms were flouted.
“There were only eight people on the stage to perform rituals as against the claim that people crowded the venue. Social distancing was maintained throughout the marriage,” Sharavana told PTI.
JD(S) leader N.H. Konaraddi also denied the accusations saying that all the norms were followed.
“Whatever central guidelines are there, we have them followed in toto. The social distancing norm has also been adhered to,” he said.
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Sources said the family was forced to shelve grand plans in view of the COVID-19 lockdown with only close family members in attendance.
With congregations of any type banned during the lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus, Kumaraswamy explained in a video message earlier this week that the event will be a low-key family affair with a minimum number of people.
He had also appealed to his party workers, relatives, and well-wishers not to visit the venue.
According to the former chief minister, after the lockdown was announced, the marriage was planned at their Bengaluru home itself but since social distancing will be a challenge, it was decided to organise it in Ramanagara. He cited Bengaluru being in the”Red Zone” with maximum COVID-19 cases in the state as also a reason for shift in the venue.
(With inputs from agencies)