The wedding of the daughter of Andhra Congress president Botcha Satyanarayana and his MP wife at the district headquarters of Vizianagaram was enough to halt traffic on the Chennai-Kolkata highway for several hours.
The reception was designed to accommodate 80,000 guests, including VIPs.
Flowers were imported from Bangkok and Singapore for the occasion. And film personalities of Chennai and Hyderabad worked for over a month to create the set for the wedding, which, back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest, cost more than Rs. 1 crore.
All the star hotels in the port city of Visakhapatnam were booked for the VIPs, who came from all over the country and more than 300 SUVs were “seized” by the transport authorities for transporting them from Visakhapatnam to the marriage venue.
“The family is the most powerful political family in the north coastal Andhra region and nothing can move without their consent,” said a TDP activist.
The event, however, has kicked up a row for the “misuse of power” involved. It has been alleged that 700 police constables were deployed.
Alleging that Satyanarayana, who is also a minister, had abused his official position, former Union power secretary EAS Sarma wanted to know who had footed the bill. Sarma said he had written to chief minister Kiran Reddy and marked a copy of it to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
“There is gross misuse of public authority as well as funds. About 300 VIPs landed here. They showed the visit as official, spending public money, whereas the visit was private,” he said.