MUMBAI: The BJP is all set to make the swearing-in ceremony of its first Chief Minister in Maharashtra a grand event. The party is contemplating whether it can arrange some boats with a grand lotus, its election symbol, in the Arabian sea depicting its theme -- ‘Lotus blooms in the sea’.
The CM will take oath on Friday at the Wankhede Stadium, which has a capacity to accommodate 35,000 people. The newly elected party legislators will elect their leader at a meeting here on Tuesday in the presence of the BJP central observers -- Rajnath Singh and J P Nadda. BJP state president Devendra Fadnavis is a front-runner for the post.
The party earlier had plans to hold the swearing-in ceremony on Thursday. However, it was deferred by a day as Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not available on that day. Modi and all the Chief Ministers of the BJP ruled states are expected to attend the ceremony.
“I have proposed to station 25 boats in the Arabian sea which is close to the Wankhede Stadium,” BJP leader Atul Shah, who is overseeing the arrangements, said.
“These boats will carry a symbol of lotus and it will be visible from the stadium too,” he added.
Shah explained that the theme was in accordance with party stalwart and former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s idea that the ‘Lotus should blossom in the sea’. “In 1980, when the party was formed here, Atalji had mooted the idea. He meant through this that the BJP should govern Maharashtra which has huge coastal area. I have submitted the theme to the party. Our leaders will take a right call on it,” Shah said.
Sena to Support Any BJP CM
After its initial hesitation the BJP’s estranged ally the Shiv Sena on Monday declared that it was ready to support any leader chosen by the former as the CM.
“The Shiv Sena is ready to support anyone who will take Maharashtra ahead with the blessings of the people,” an editorial in the party’s mouthpiece Saamna stated.
The party also indicated that Union Minister of Transport and Rural Development Nitin Gadkari could be a good choice for the CM’s post, but maintained that it would accept any name that gets clearance from the BJP’s top leadership.
“Gadkari is well versed ith Maharashtra and has a development vision for the state. On the other hand, Fadnavis does not have the experience of being involved in governance,” the editorial stated. Senior BJP leader Vinod Tawde on Monday evening called on party president Amit Shah in Delhi and apprised him of the party legislators’ opinion.