Elaborate security arrangements are being made at and around Shivaji Park in Dadar in central Mumbai where Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) nominee Uddhav Thackeray will take oath as Chief Minister on Thursday evening, a police official said on Wednesday.
Thackeray, who heads Shiv Sena, will be sworn in as the 17th chief minister of the state in a grand ceremony at the venue which hosts annual Dussehra rallies of his party. Thursday's swearing-in ceremony will be different from the previous occasions in Maharashtra politics given that Uddhav is the first Thackeray from his clan who is taking oath as a public representative and that too is the CM.
Additionally, he is also the leader of the MVA comprising leaders of the NCP and the Congress, the new allies of the Sena. Shivsainiks are emotionally connected to Shivaji Park where party founder late Bal Thackeray used to address Dussehra rallies, a tradition that is still kept alive by his son, Uddhav.
Bal Thackeray was cremated in a corner of the Shivaji Park, which Sainiks rever as "Shivteerth"--a holy place. National leaders cutting across party lines are being invited for the oath-taking ceremony.
Senior police officers, including joint commissioner of police (law and order) Vinoy Choube, reviewed the security preparations at the venue on Wednesday, the official said. "Adequate number of police personnel will be deployed at the venue as thousands of people are expected to attend the event," a senior Shivaji Park police station officer said.
Police personnel in civil clothes will be deployed, he said, adding that drones and CCTV cameras will be used to monitor crowd. Officials also discussed issues such as vehicular parking for invitees and VIPs along with traffic management, he added.
In a related development, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday raised security concerns over the swearing-in ceremony at Shivaji Park, and said holding such functions at a public ground should not become a regular feature. The high court had in 2010 declared the area as a 'silence zone' after the PIL was filed by the NGO.