11:53 am - Tuesday January 19, 2021

Big Bang Swearing-in for BJP in Mumbai with Bollywood Art Director

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Devendra Fadnavis’ big moment on Friday is being designed by award winning art director Nitin Chandrakant Desai, who has designed sets for Bollywood blockbusters like Jodha Akbar, Lagaan andDevdas.

Mr Desai’s brief for the oath ceremony of Mr Fadnavis as the BJP’s first Maharashtra chief minister is to showcase “history plus modern Maharashtra” at Mumbai’s famous Wankhede stadium. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, other BJP A-listers, chief ministers and a host of Bollywood stars and business leaders will attend.

“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 NDTV. He was won the national award for art direction four times.

The BJP has asked for two stages to be set up at the stadium. On one, the 44-year-old Mr Fadnavis will be seated along with the ministers to be sworn in with him and the state Governor. This will also be used for the oath ceremony.

Prime Minister Modi and other dignitaries will be seated on the other stage.

Mr Modi – who was the party’s star campaigner and who is credited by the BJP for its strongest performance in Maharashtra ever – will be the showstopper of the event, said the BJP’s Raju Savla who is in charge of arrangements.

“There will be a huge LED backdrop which will focus on Modiji. We also have to show all of Maharashtra’s monuments through an LED display,” Mr Savla said.

The BJP says on Friday evening it expects to seat 30,000 people in the stadium, where India had won the cricket World Cup in 2011. The BJP is pulling out all stops to ensure yet another memorable Wankhede moment.

Devendra Fadnavis and his ministers will be sworn in at 4.30 on Friday. The new CM has to prove his majority within 15 days after that. The BJP is 22 short of a majority in the 288-member Assembly.

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