Wary of a possible emotional outburst over the situation surrounding Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's health, Centre has asked eight companies (800 personnel) of paramilitary forces to be on standby in Maharashtra, especially in Mumbai.
Government sources said that though there are no inputs to suggest a law and order problem in the city in the light of Thackeray's deteriorating health, the government thought it prudent to keep forces ready to keep the situation under control.
"We are in touch with the Maharashtra DGP and are closely monitoring the developments in Mumbai and other sensitive locations in Maharashtra," a senior home ministry official said.
The Central forces that were about to leave for election duty in Gujarat have been asked to remain stationed and on standby in Maharashtra for quick deployment in case the situation in Mumbai and other cities warrants their assistance in maintaining law and order.
"More forces will be spared for quick deployment if a request is made by the state government," the official added.