At Uddhav Thackeray’s oath, a 9000 sq ft stage and a Shivaji backdrop: 10 points
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will take oath as the chief minister of Maharashtra around 6.40 pm today in south Mumbai’s Shivaji Park. The venue is historic because Sena founder Bal Thackeray had addressed the party’s first rally here in 1966.
Shivaji Park has become a fortress ahead of the swearing-in. Around 2,000 police personnel will be guarding the venue. Dog squads and drones have also been deployed.
The stage where Uddhav Thackeray will take his oath has been designed by famous art director Nitin Desai. The stage, which is 9,000 square feet in size and 30 feet in height, has been created with the theme of the historic Raigad Fort that was once the capital of legendary Maratha king Shivaji.
Here are top 10 developments:
1) Uddhav Thackeray will be administered the oath of office by Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at 6.40pm. One or two legislators from Sena, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are also likely to take oath on Thursday evening.
2) The last Sena man to occupy the chief minister’s chair was Narayan Rane in 1999, after Manohar Joshi, who in 1995 became the first CM from the party.
Also Watch | Shivaji Park decked up for Uddhav Thackeray’s swearing in as Maharashtra CM
3) After a six-hour meeting on Wednesday evening, Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi, the newly formed three-party alliance, said the deputy chief minister will be from Sharad Pawar’s NCP while a Congress legislator will become the speaker.
4) NCP leader Praful Patel has said all other ministerial portfolios will be announced after the new government proves its majority before the December 3 deadline set by the governor.
5) Uddhav Thackeray spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday evening and invited him for the swearing-in. Thackeray had earlier also sent an invitation letter to PM Modi.
6) The Sena has also extended invitations to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, her son and MP Rahul Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh. The former PM’s office said he won’t be able to attend the event.
7) Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president MK Stalin has also been invited.
8) At least 2,000 police personnel will guard Shivaji Park as part of the security arrangements. Cops have been deployed in plain clothes, drones and CCTV cameras will be used to monitor the crowd.
9) Banners and posters saying that Bal Thackeray’s dream has come true can be seen outside the 28-acres Shivaji Park. A sculpture of Meenatai Thackeray, the wife of Bal Thackeray, located in the park premises, has been decorated with garlands. The ground has been decorated with flowers and carpets have been rolled out.
10) Ajit Pawar, who had rebelled against NCP to form a government with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Devendra Fadnavis, returned back to the party fold. “I never left the party. I was with the NCP, I am with the NCP and will remain with the NCP,” he said.