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Stage set for swearing-in

Patna, Nov. 25: After victory, it’s time to assume responsibility. And the NDA is all set to do it in style.

Gandhi Maidan, where the swearing-in ceremony will take place tomorrow, is decked up for the big day. Around 50,000 people are expected to turn up for the show.

Though the results of the elections were declared yesterday, preparations had begun three days ago. It was as if the officials already knew what the public mandate would be.

Chandrashekhar Prasad, a junior engineer with the buildings department, told The Telegraph that the preparations for the swearing-in ceremony were going ahead at full pace.

Prasad said he was sure it would be completed on time.

The swearing-in is scheduled to start around 2.30pm.

A source said seating arrangements had been made for 10,000 people, especially VIPs and politicians. Several barricades have also been put up for crowd control.

Prasad said: “A huge rush at one place could lead to disaster, so the barricading is very important. It will help in crowd control but will not stop people from coming in. The chairs will be on one side of the dais, while the crowd will be right in front of the stage to enjoy the ceremony.”

The barricades are being whitewashed, he said.

The centre of attraction is the 70x40ft stage, on which the swearing-in ceremony will take place. It has been cleaned and decorated for the ceremony.

Prasad said: “The stage is completely white and decorated with pink curtains. Flowers will also be used to decorate it tomorrow.”

He said: “Arrangements are also being made for lighting and sound to ensure that there are no hiccups. Adequate arrangements would also be made for journalists so that they can cover the event without too many hassles.”

An army of 2,800 workers have been working round-the-clock to make everything ready, he said.

The official said: “If needed, we will increase the number of workers. But at present everything is under control.”

Security has also been beefed up for the ceremony. Officers of the district police are making rounds of the area to check that everything is in order.

A police source said around 5,000 security personnel would be deployed to prevent any untoward incident.

Regular patrolling will be done along the Gandhi Maidan area and on the main roads and roundabout, the police source said.

Patna resident S.K. Kumar, who had come to Gandhi Maidan with his two sons, said: “My sons wanted to know what was going on and I brought them here on their way back from school. Nitish Kumar’s victory proves that people support leaders who don’t just talk but work hard as well. I will surely come down to witness the ceremony.”

Tabrez Ahmed, who works with the State Bank of India located right in front of the Gandhi Maidan, said the show would be worth a watch.

“It is definitely a serious ceremony, but it is also a happy moment for us. We always wanted Nitish Kumar to become the chief minister,” said Ahmed.

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