In January 2013, Team Uddhav will officially take over the reins of the Shiv Sena.
The Sena national executive meeting that is all set to take place around January 23, 2013, will see intra-party elections, membership renewals, setting the 2014 election agenda and most importantly, officially announcing the new team of the Sena.
Sena sources say that while the older members - mostly founding members of the party who are now septuagenarians or octogenarians - will be given an advisory role, the younger lot close to party executive president Uddhav Thackeray will be given senior posts.
Senior members including former Loksabha speaker Manohar Joshi, Sudhir Joshi, Liladhar Dhake and Dattaji Nalawade are from the older lot.
While the election commission makes it mandatory for political parties to have such a meeting to retain its recognition, the timing is significant, as the meeting will be held barely two months from the demise of late Sena chief Bal Thackeray.
"We are planning to conduct the national executive meeting in January, 2013. The meeting happens every five years -- the last meeting was in 2008 and the one before that was in 2003," Shiv Sena MP and spokesperson Sanjay Raut told HT.
It was in the 2003 meeting that MNS chief Raj Thackeray, who was then part of the Sena, announced the name of Uddhav as the next executive president. The Sena, like most parties, has a structure of primary members led by an elected team of office bearers of the party executive.
After Bal Thackeray's demise, it was decided in a party meeting at Matoshree that while Uddhav Thackeray will remain the Sena executive president, he would be given all the powers of a party chief. This will be officially executed in the meeting.
"This party meeting will be important as we will see the next generation leaders on the forefront, and Uddhavji for the first time will say what he envisions for the party after Balasaheb. The meeting will also lay down plans for the way ahead and the action plan for 2014 elections," said a senior Sena legislator.
He added that the Sena is likely to focus on youth-oriented programmes and issues that appeal to the young audience as around 32% of Sena's voters are between 18 and 30 years of age.
The meeting is likely to last a day and may be held at Shiv Sena Bhavan in Mumbai itself. Other locations like Nashik and Pune are also being considered.