On Tuesday, workers started pruning the grass, cleaning the pavilion and re-painting the signboards at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Sector 3 in preparation for the oath-taking ceremony of the new Haryana government, headed by Manohar Lal Khattar, on Sunday.
The stadium has been chosen as the venue for the historic ceremony — the formation of the first BJP government in the state — because the Raj Bhawan in Chandigarh, where such events are normally held, cannot accommodate big crowds which are expected to turn up.
Besides, the new government perhaps also wants to make a statement by holding the event in Haryana.
In the afternoon, officials of the Haryana Urban Development Authority visited the stadium to take stock of the situation. Soon workers arrived and got busy cleaning up the place.
“We have received the official confirmation regarding the venue, and we will soon organise a meeting to plan the necessary arrangements. It is an important state-level event, and the best arrangements will be made,” said Dr S S Phulia, Deputy Commissioner of Panchkula.
The stadium has never been used for such an event in the past. Usually, local cricket matches or police recruitment are held here. Because of the neglect, the chairs in the pavilion are broken, so are the glass panes, and the road leading to the stadium is potholed.
With just four days left for D-day, there is no time to lose. “We will set up a stage in the middle and make arrangements around for the gathering,” said one of the officials.
The stadium is named after former chief minister Devi Lal and was inaugurated by his son Om Prakash Chautala when he was chief minister. Chautala heads the Indian National Lok Dal which lost the election.