Former Chief Minister of Karnataka HD Kumaraswamy came under criticism on Friday as images of his son’s wedding Nikhil surfaced on social media defying lockdown restrictions and social distancing norms amidst COVID-19 pandemic.

Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda’s grandson Nikhil Kumaraswamy married Revathi, the grandniece of a Congress leader and former minister, at a farmhouse about 28 km from state capital Bengaluru. The wedding ceremony  had no guests, claimed former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, the groom’s father, but all traditions were followed.

The Janata Dal (Secular) chief had sought official permission from the Karnataka government to conduct the wedding and agreed to comply with all norms of the COVID-19 lockdown.

A report by The Print says, “In an order dated 22 March, Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa allowed closed-door weddings with up to 100 guests. Several weddings have been conducted since in the same manner as Nikhil’s.”

“Former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has said that his son’s wedding will be organised as a low-key affair and about 30 family members will grace this occasion. It is a personal affair… since they are responsible people, they will understand and not exceed the numbers and maintain social distancing protocol,” Karnataka Medical Education Minister Dr K. Sudhakar said Thursday afternoon.

Kumaraswamy had claimed “only around 60 to 70 people of the family” would attend the wedding. According to the Karnataka police, passes for 42 vehicles and 120 people were given.

In a video message on Thursday, the JD(S) leader appealed to supporters to stay away from the venue, promising a bigger event when the situation returned to normal.

“It would be difficult to maintain social distancing if the event was organised at home. That’s the reason we are organising the event at our farmhouse in Bidadi. I request my workers and well-wishers to avoid attending the event,” Mr Kumaraswamy said, adding that the decision to go ahead with the wedding was taken in consultation with doctors, including those in his family.