Stringent security measures are in place across Mumbai in view of two rallies on Dussehra organised by Shiv Sena factions led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and party president Uddhav Thackeray, a police official said on Monday.
The rebellion by Shinde in June brought down the Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government and the two factions have shared an acrimonious relationship since, with workers clashing at times on streets.
While Thackeray will address the October 5 rally at the Sena's traditional venue Shivaji Park in central Mumbai, Shinde's faction has organised their Dussehra event at the MMRDA ground in Bandra Kurla Complex, located close to 'Matoshree', the private residence of the former chief minister.
"Thousands of people are expected from across the state for both rallies and, therefore, arrangements have been made to ensure law and order and deal with any untoward incident. Local police as well as additional cover by other units will be in place," an official said.
Mumbai Joint Commissioner of Police Vishwas Nangre Patil said his team visited Shivaji Park and BKC to take stock of security arrangements at the venues.
Stringent security measures are in place as there is a possibility of supporters of the two rival factions coming face to face in the metropolis, which may lead to law and order issues, police said.
Incidentally, the security of Shinde was increased recently due to a threat input, police added.
The chief minister visited the MMRDA ground at BKC in suburban Mumbai and took stock of the preparations for the October 5 event.
"I have visited the venue (in BKC) and the preparations are in full swing. Lakhs of people from across the state will come to the rally and all departments are working to ensure they don't face any problem. Our preparations will get over tomorrow (Tuesday) and this rally will be a success," Shinde said.
Sheetal Mhatre, a spokesperson for the Shinde camp, said the preparations at the ground are almost 80 per cent over and 4,000-5,000 buses have been booked by MLAs and MPs to ferry their supporters to the rally site.
At the Shivaji Park too, the Uddhav Thackeray camp is making its own preparations for the rally --- building the stage and making seating arrangements for Shiv Sainiks loyal to the Sena president.
The top leadership of the Uddhav Thackeray faction met at Shiv Sena Bhavan, the party headquarters in Dadar, to take stock of the on-going preparations.