News By/Courtesy: Pushpit Singh | 28 Nov 2019 10:17am IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Modi, Shah, Sonia Invited
  • 400 Farmers From Across Various Districts Invited
  • ‘Won’t Interfere, But Have Security Concerns’: Bombay HC on Shivaji Park

As Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is set to take oath as the chief minister of Maharashtra, in a historic first for the Thackeray family, the ceremony, scheduled for 6:40 pm on Thursday, November 28, 2019, is slated to be a grand affair.

From the controversial Shivaji Park venue to the high-profile guest list, the ceremony is already making headlines and is being slated as a show of strength by the Sena-NCP-Congress combine.

Invitations have been extended to PM Modi, Amit Shah, and Sonia Gandhi along with 400 farmers from various districts. Meanwhile, the controversy over choice of venue has reached the Bombay High Court. 

 

Modi, Shah, Sonia Invited

 

 

 

Shiv Sena’s former allies in the BJP – Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and ex-Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis – have also been invited for the swearing-in ceremony, party leader Sanjay Raut said.

Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde confirmed the invitation to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi. However, according to reports, Rahul Gandhi will give the ceremony a miss.

MNS chief and Uddhav’s cousin Raj Thackeray has also been extended an invitation, media reports said.

Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar, meanwhile, said that a number of leaders from other parties have also been extended invitations.

“All Congress chief ministers, MK Stalin (DMK chief), Mamata Banerjee (TMC supremo and West Bengal CM) and Arvind Kejriwal (AAP leader and Delhi CM) have also been invited for the swearing-in ceremony,” he told ANI.

While Delhi CM Arving Kejriwal will give the ceremony a miss due to “previous engagements,” Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath confirmed his presence.

 

 

 

400 Farmers From Across Various Districts Invited

Along with political leaders, the Shiv Sena has also invited around 400 farmers.

“Around 400 farmers from various districts of Maharashtra have been invited for Uddhav's swearing-in ceremony. To give respect to the farmers, family member of those farmers who committed suicide have also been invited,” Sena leader Vinayak Raut said.

Uddhav and Sharad Pawar separately toured regions of Maharashtra to meet farmers even before the alliance was finalised. Multiple leaders of the alliance have gone on record to say that loan waivers will be announced after the first cabinet meet itself.

Security Arrangements Tightened

 

 

 

Elaborate security arrangements are being made at and around Shivaji Park in Central Mumbai’s Dadar.

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 told PTI.

Police personnel in civil clothes will be deployed, he said, adding that drones and CCTV cameras will be used to monitor crowds.

Officials also discussed issues such as vehicular parking for invitees and VIPs along with traffic management, he added.

‘Won’t Interfere, But Have Security Concerns’: Bombay HC on Shivaji Park

Shiv Sainiks 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 Uddhav. Bal Thackeray was cremated in a corner of the Shivaji Park, which Sainiks rever to as “Shivteerth”, a holy place.

The Bombay High Court, however, raised security concerns over the swearing-in ceremony at Shivaji Park in Mumbai, and said holding such functions at a public ground should not become a regular feature.

Henceforth, everyone will want to use the ground for such ceremonies, a division bench of Justices SC Dharmadhikari and RI Chagla said.

"We do not want to say anything about tomorrow's ceremony... we are only praying that nothing untoward happens," the court said while hearing a plea of NGO Wecom Trust on whether the Shivaji Park was a playground or a recreation ground.

“What will happen is that this (holding ceremonies) will become a regular feature and everyone will want to use the ground for such ceremonies,” Justice Dharmadhikari said.

 

 

The court also raised concerns over the security aspect, saying lakhs of people will gather for the ceremony.

“You (authorities) have to also consider security aspect. You cannot put everybody’s lives at risk,” the court said.
“To prepare for the swearing-in ceremony to be held tomorrow, materials like chairs and bamboos to erect pandals will be brought in trucks this (Wednesday) evening. This means the park (ground) will not be available both today (Wednesday) and tomorrow (Thursday) for the public use,” the court said.

The high court had in 2010 declared the area as a 'silence zone' after the PIL was filed by the NGO.

 

 

 

The court had then said that programmes can be held at the Shivaji Park only on 6 December (death anniversary of B R Ambedkar), 1 May (Maharashtra Foundation Day) and on 26 January (Republic Day).

The Shiv Sena also holds the party’s annual Dusshera rally at the venue.

However, the state government and the Mumbai civic body later carved out 45-days in a year to permit non-sporting activities in the ground.

 

 

The bench posted the petition for further hearing on 12 December and sought a response from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the state government on its policies on allowing non-sporting activities at Shivaji Park.

 

In the 288-member Assembly, the BJP is the single-largest party with 105 MLAs, followed by the Shiv Sena (56), the NCP (54) and the Congress (44).

After a strong tussle that lasted over a month, the ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi', the three-party combine of Sena, NCP and Congress is set to form the government in Maharashtra, led by Uddhav.

Section Editor: Prithvijit Mukherjee | 28 Nov 2019 13:20pm IST


Tags : #BJP #ShivSena #Congress #NCP #Politics #India #SupremeCourt #Government

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