Home minister RR Patil has assured Mumbaiites that law and order would be maintained all through Thursday and complete security would be provided to citizens.
"In a democracy, people have the right to call for a bandh. But no one can force it upon others and create a law and order situation. Immediate action will be taken in case such use of force is observed," Patil said on Wednesday. Patil told Hindustan Times that all preventive measures have been taken to ensure people can commute safely. "There is enough deployment of police force," he said. No preventive arrests had been made, he said.
Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena has warned people, albeit indirectly, against going to work. "This is a voluntary bandh. But we are sure that trains will run empty. We will protest in Sena style," party leader Subhash Desai said.
Although the Sena does not control even half of the rickshaw and taxi unions in Mumbai, even a single incident of a rickshaw or taxi being attacked or a BEST bus being vandalised could throw public transport out of gear.
On Wednesday, workers of both the Sena and the BJP had meetings to work out the logistics of the bandh. "I will be in Mumbai, Vinod Tawde in Nagpur and Gopinath Munde in Aurangabad. We will be coming out and appealing to people to not go to work," BJP state president Sudhir Mungantiwar said.
When asked about engineering students who have their exams scheduled for May 31, the parties said they would ask their workers to help the students reach their exam centres.