Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance plans show of strength at Uddhav Thackeray’s swearing-in as Maharashtra CM today

Mumbai: The Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)-Congress alliance — Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) — intends to put up a show of power of non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parties at the swearing-in ceremony of Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray as the next chief minister of Maharashtra on Thursday.

Uddhav, the first Thackeray to be a chief minister of the state, will take oath at 6.40pm at Shivaji Park, the ground in Dadar where his father, the late Bal Thackeray, established Shiv Sena in 1966.

Preparations for swearing-in ceremony have begun: Preparations for the ceremony have begun at Shivaji Park. “It is going to be a historic ceremony. Shiv Tirth is a special place; there is a Shivaji Maharaj statue on the ground; the makeshift memorial of Balasaheb Thackeray is there; and with their blessings and guidance, Uddhavji will take the oath to lead the state. A people’s government is going to come to power now,” said Sena leader Eknath Shinde.

Elaborate security arrangements: Elaborate security arrangements are being made at and around Shivaji Park in Dadar in central Mumbai where Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi 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.

Sena has also invited 400 farmers and relatives of those who died owing to agrarian crisis: Invites for the function sent to senior leaders from across the country: The Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi has sent out invites for the function to senior leaders from across the country, sending out a message to BJP, a day after forcing Devendra Fadnavis to resign as chief minister. The Shiv Sena has also invited 400 state farmers and relatives of those who died owing to the agrarian crisis. Most of these farmers are from the Marathwada, where unseasonal rain ruined crops last month.

Sonia Gandhi, Kejriwal, Kamal Nath invited: Among political leaders, Congress president Sonia Gandhi; West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee; Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal; DMK president MK Stalin; Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav; and CMs of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh — both states have Congress governments — have been invited.

Sena leader and newly elected MLA Aaditya Thackeray along with party secretary Milind Narvekar, who is a close aide of Uddhav Thackeray, personally extended the invitation to Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Wednesday evening.

Raj Thackeray may attend but Modi unlikely to attend: Interestingly, Uddhav Thackeray has also invited his cousin, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. While Raj Thackeray is likely to be present at the ceremony, Sena leaders, who did not wish to be named, said Modi won’t come.