'Big fat' wedding of Andhra minister's daughter stirs controversy

Nov 03 2012, 18:32 IST
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SummaryAll star hotels were booked and SUVs seized for 300 VIP guests of Transport Minister Botsa.

Controversy is not new to Andhra Pradesh Transport Minister and state Congress president Botsa Satyanarayana.

Botsa, who has been in the eye of storm on earlier occasions including alleged mafia activities, does not seem to shy away from courting controversies.

Now, he is accused of abusing his official position for the wedding of his daughter Anusha, a medico, in his native Vizianagaram last night.

State Governor E S L Narasimhan, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and several other ministers flew in a special chartered aircraft from Hyderabad while Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and others came from New Delhi for the wedding.

Governors of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, K Rosaiah and H R Bhardwaj, were in attendance along with a host of political bigwigs from the state.

All star hotels in Visakhapatnam, which served as the base camp for the VVIP guests, were booked while a number of SUVs were "seized" by the transport authorities for the service of their boss.

Alleging that the minister has abused his official position for the "lavish wedding", former Union power secretary EAS Sarma wanted to know who had footed the bill.

"There is gross misuse of public authority as well as fund. About 300 VIPs landed here. There were Union ministers, 2 Governors, MPs and the entire state Cabinet. They call it official, but its all private. And as just now somebody said the taxi owners are forced to give up their vehicles," he said.

Sarma said he has written to the Chief Minister over the lavish conduct of the wedding.

"I have asked is it a democarcy or zamindari. I have even marked a copy of the letter to the Governor of AP. When these (VIPs) people come here for the wedding, shouldn't they pay from their pockets? he said.

"They have not responded because they think they are not accountable to the public of this country. Either it is PM, PMO of CMO, very rarely I get reply. The VIPs are not very sensitive about it. They think they can misuse public fund any time," Sarma added.

Meanwhile, a transport official in Visakhapatnam, who was entrusted with the job said, "When there are too many VVIPs, we obviously need vehicles. Hence we hired the vehicles as per practice adopted even during normal VIP visits. In fact, the minister's family itself paid the charges for most of the vehicles,"

However, taxi drivers say they have not been paid any money so far

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