Bollywood veteran Hema Malini,also a renowned dancer, is all set to be one of the main performers at the BJP-led Maharashtra government’s mega event at Girgaum Chowpatty titled ‘Maharashtra Night’. The event, which will be held on the evening of February 14, is to showcase Maharashtra’s culture in the backdrop of the iconic Marine Drive skyline.
Malini, also a BJP parliamentarian, was recently embroiled in a controversy as the state government had approved the allotment of a multi-crore plot measuring 2,000 square metres at Ambivali, Andheri, to her for a measly sum of Rs 70,000, to set up a cultural academy.
“Besides Hema Malini, there will be a lot of Bollywood personalities at the ‘Maharashtra Night’. But the event is not going to be only about Bollywood. It will feature various folk dances of Maharashtra: lavnis, dholki and so on. The programme will be held between 6.30 pm and 10 pm,” said a senior government official.
Actor Amitabh Bachchan, singer Shankar Mahadevan and composer-music director duo Ajay-Atul have confirmed their participation. All of them have agreed to perform free of cost, said officials.
The state government expects about 25,000 people to attend the ‘Maharashtra Night,’ for which it is currently in the process of constructing a temporary stage, green room and washrooms at the Chowpatty. The government is also provisioning for a few VIP sofas at the front, a few chairs for members of the general audience and ample room for standees.
The Bombay High Court had initially denied the government permission to host the ‘Maharashtra Night’ at Girgaum Chowpatty, saying it would set a precedent. However, the state approached the Supreme Court after which the order was reversed.
Meanwhile, preparations at the MMRDA Grounds at Bandra Kurla Complex, which will be the main venue of the event, is almost complete.
The government has been in the process of readying the 15-hectare space at MMRDA Grounds for the event, which is expected to attract companies and delegates from over the world, since the end of December.