Lok Sabha elections 2019: Sena hopes Aaditya’s dialogue delivery becomes hit with youth
Conceptualised and designed by Prashant Kishor’s firm I-PAC, the town-hall style interaction will see Sena leader and Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray talk to the youth as part of Sena’s Lok Sabha campaign.
With an aim to replicate the success of outreach programmes and interactive sessions with voters ahead of polls, the Shiv Sena is set to launch an Aaditya Samvad across the state.
Conceptualised and designed by Prashant Kishor’s firm I-PAC, the town-hall style interaction will see Sena leader and Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray talk to the youth as part of Sena’s Lok Sabha campaign. The poll strategist had designed similar interactive sessions successfully, such as PM Narendra Modi’s Chai pe Charcha during the 2014 elections, Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s Coffee with Captain during the Punjab Assembly polls.
According to a Sena functionary, who is working on the programme, the event is expected to kick off in the first week of April. On Tuesday, Thackeray’s team mainly comprising Yuva Sena functionaries and Kishor’s I-PAC team held a meeting at Sena headquarters in Dadar to give finishing touches to the programme.
“We have planned around six to seven such interactive sessions with Aaditya ji. He will take questions from a pre-registered neutral audience, which would be in the range of 1,000-1,500. He would answer people’s questions and gauge their views about all issues of the state,” said the functionary. The programmes will be organised in Mumbai, Thane, Nashik, Aurangabad, and a few other major cities of Maharashtra, he added. Earlier in the month, the Yuva Sena organised‘Yuva To Yuva—Aao Baat Karein’, an interactive programme in Thane, where Thackeray took questions from a young audience on education, environment, politics, etc.
Kishor, who is the vice-president of Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United), a constituent of the BJP-led NDA, was roped in by the Sena in February to devise a strategy for the general and state assembly elections.
A senior Sena functionary said the party intends to tap the younger voter base, but in an “organic manner”. He said, “Digital platforms and social media will be used, but it will be predominantly done for spreading information or listing out work done by the party. Social media can create a buzz, but we want to keep it organic, with face-to-face interactions between Aadityaji and Uddhavji whenever possible.”
From promoting the ban on plastic to insisting on 24x7 nightlife for Mumbai and doing away with its strong opposition to the ‘influence of western culture’, such as celebrating Valentine’s Day, the Sena is slowly changing its image. And Thackeray, who is seen as a face that can draw young voters, is leading this change.
Party leaders pointed out that if Thackeray intends to venture into electoral politics, such “experience” and “connect” will help him.
A considerable section of leaders want Thackeray to contest the Assembly polls and lead the party in Maharashtra.