NewZNew (Mumbai) : Two stages, an audience of about 30,000 people and mega sets courtesy a top Bollywood art director – that’s the lay of the land for Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, where, on Friday, Devendra Fadnavis will take charge of Maharashtra. The Prime Minister and other top BJP leaders will be seated on one stage to watch their party form its first government in the state. Mr Fadnavis, 44, will be seated on the other with the Governor.
The entire ceremony is being designed by award-winning art director Nitin Chandrakant Desai, creator of sets for Bollywood blockbusters like Jodha Akbar, Lagaan and Devdas. “We are going to show the way Maharashtra was 350 years ago during the first Rajyabhishek (coronation) in Raigad. And along with that kind of a cultural and historical theme, we are portraying the new modern Maharashtra and the fact that this government will do some big things,” Mr Desai told.
The Prime Minister – who was the party’s star campaigner for the election – will receive special attention, said Raju Savla, hired as a sort of event manager. “There will be a huge LED backdrop which will focus on Modiji,” he told. Invites have been sent to politicians Sharad Pawar and Prithiviraj Chavan, whose parties had co-governed Maharashtra for 15 years and were rudely punished in the election, and estranged cousins Raj and Uddhav Thackeray.
For Uddhav, who heads the Shiv Sena, being stationed as a spectator at Friday’s mega-event could be especially painful – he is still waiting to hear on whether the BJP will reunite with his party, allowing the Sena to be part of the government. A-listers who are being asked to attend include superstars Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan, cricket icons MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar and industrialists Ratan Tata and the Ambani brothers, Anil and Mukesh.