Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar arrived in Mumbai on Saturday evening to attend centenary celebrations of his State, a day after Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray withdrew his threat to disrupt the event slated for Sunday.
Mr. Kumar will be the chief guest at the ‘Bihar Shatabdi Samaroh Utsav’ being organised at ‘Somaiya Ground’ in a city suburb on Sunday evening.
Mr. Kumar landed at the airport in Mumbai from Patna amid tight security ahead of the planned event that had got embroiled in a controversy after MNS took exception to his remark that nobody could prevent him from visiting Mumbai and that he did not require a visa to visit the city.
The Bihar Chief Minister had a telephonic talks with Mr. Thackeray on Friday during which he clarified that the event was purely “socio-cultural” and that it did not have any political agenda.
“Nitish Kumar told me that he does not want to do politics over the celebration of 100 years of Bihar’s creation and that the programme has no political agenda. After this I have no objection to the event being held in Mumbai,” Mr. Thackeray told reporters after the conversation, ending apprehensions about peaceful holding of the event.
“Let us see how he (Nitish) celebrates Bihar Din in Mumbai,” MNS chief had said addressing a party rally at Malegaon on Thursday while referring to Mr. Kumar’s reported statement about he not needing a visa to visit Mumbai.
“Adequate security has been put in place for the visiting Bihar chief minister. Police force will be deployed at the programme venue in full strength,” an official involved in the exercise told PTI.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had also chaired a meeting of top home and police department officials on Friday to take stock of the security arrangements for the programme.
Several organisations of Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs whose saints like the Buddha, Mahavir and Guru Gobind Singh had association with Bihar, would honour Mr. Kumar at the centenary celebration.
Mr. Kumar will also honour public servants, artists and professionals from Bihar who have distinguished themselves in Maharashtra.