Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda and former CM H D Kumaraswamy were also present on the occasion.
The event was planned for January 17 three months ago. The MLA publicised the event in local dailies and distributed pamphlets among minorities living in his constituency.
Accordingly, around 105 couples and their family members, belonging to the economically weaker section, showed interest and registered themselves. Despite the EC declaring the election to BBMP on December 7, 2009 and the election code coming into effect from January 15, the JD(S) MLA decided to hold the event on January 17.
Fearing the event may attract the poll code violation, the JD(S) leader had submitted a letter to the EC seeking permission to hold the event where gifts were to be distributed, but the EC rejected their plea.
However, the JD(S) leader decided to go ahead with the plan. On Sunday all the 105 couples assembled for the mass marriage and at the end of the programme, gifts were also distributed to them.
Zameer’s loyalists and co-organiser of the event S M Sarwar told Deccan Herald that a gold necklace, gold ear-ring, gold nose stud, gold ring, wrist watch, six sets of clothes, almirah, cot, cushion, blanket, utensils and tickets to visit Ooty was given to each couple. Besides the food was also arranged for the invitees.
Sarwar added that there should not be any controversy related to the programme as it was planned much earlier, even before the election dates were declared. “We have been organising mass marriages for the last three years for the weaker section of minority community,” said Sarwar.
EC orders inquiry
The Election Commission has taken up the matter seriously and directed the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to hold an inquiry.
In this connection the Returning Officer of the BBMP for Chamarajpet Constituency Noorullah Ameen has lodged a complaint against the JD(S) MLA at Shankarapuram police station.
Acting on the complaint the police registered a case against Zameer Ahmed.
Interestingly, the entire event was not videographed and only two snapshots were taken which would be handed over to the Election Commission as proof.
All the attempts to contact Zameer Ahmed to seek his opinion on the whole issue, proved futile.