Tricolour adorns Sena Bhavan as Mumbai celebrates

Updated: Nov 29, 2019, 07:33 IST | Chetna Sadadekar | Mumbai

Followers of all the three parties applaud and hail their leaders during the swearing-in ceremony at Shivaji Park

Supporters at the swearing-in ceremony of Maha Vikas Aghadi at Shivaji Park. Pic/Atul Kamble
Supporters at the swearing-in ceremony of Maha Vikas Aghadi at Shivaji Park. Pic/Atul Kamble

For the first time, the usually orange-clad Shivaji Park opened its doors to the tricolour as Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray took oath as the 19th chief minister of the state. Even party flags of the Congress and NCP adorned the Sena Bhavan at Dadar, with followers of all the three parties applauding and hailing the leaders to show their support for the Maha Vikas Aghadi.

Shivaji Park, known as Shiv Tirth by the Sainiks, has always been very close to the party as all the Dussehra rallies are held there and also because it's where Bal Thackeray's memorial is. Flags and hoardings of all the three parties thronged the roads of Dadar, which is otherwise a Sena bastion. For the first time, Uddhav shares space on hoardings with other party leaders and not the BJP, which people feel would take them some time to get used to.

The Sena headquarters was decorated with lights as part of the celebrations of Uddhav's swearing-in. A Sena follower said, "We will take some time to get used to the new scheme of things. But we are very happy that our leader will now lead the government." Even though followers hailed Sena founder, late Bal Thackeray, and even cheered for Sharad Pawar when his picture was shown on the screen, the loudest applause went out for Uddhav when he took oath as the CM. Firecrackers went up soon after the ministers took oath. Meanwhile, the police had a tough time handling the crowd.

In order to help them, Sena spokespersons continuously made announcements on the mic asking people to cooperate with the cops and not create a stampede. It was only after the governor entered and the swearing-in ceremony started, the crowd fell silent for a while. One of the officers on duty at the ground said, "People were trying to jump barricades and fill up all the empty space near the stage to get a closer view of the leaders. It was becoming really difficult to control the crowd. We then requested the party leaders to appeal to them and ask them to cooperate." Many followers were also seen near Bal Thackeray's memorial garden paying their respects. Some even thronged Chaityabhoomi to pay their respects to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.

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