Aaditya to contest from rural seat?
According to Sena functionaries, the Worli Assembly segment is the top pick for Thackeray, as it is a mix of Marathi population as well as upper-middle class voters, which can be tapped easily by the party.Updated: Sep 12, 2019 03:10 IST
With Thackeray scion Aaditya expected to take the electoral plunge in the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly polls, the Shiv Sena is looking for a safe seat in rural Maharashtra for the 28-year-old.If Aaditya contests the upcoming election, he will become the first Thackeray to deviate from the family tradition of staying away from electoral politics.
According to Sena functionaries, the Worli Assembly segment is the top pick for Thackeray, as it is a mix of Marathi population as well as upper-middle class voters, which can be tapped easily by the party. With former NCP leader and former Worli MLA Sachin Ahir joining the Sena, the constituency is a risk-free seat, where there is no prominent leader from the Opposition. However, the party feels that contesting on a seat from the rural part of the state would boost the confidence of leaders and legislators who feel sidelined, when it comes to picking them for ministerial berths and other posts.
A functionary said the party is looking at about seven seats across the state, including Worli, Sewri and Bandra. “We are looking at seats in rural Maharashtra as well. Seats in north Maharashtra, western Maharashtra and Marathwada are being looked at. Several leaders and ministers have offered to give up their seats for Thackeray,” a party functionary said, requesting anonymity.
Another party functionary said the party could even decide to field Thackeray on two seats –an urban and a rural seat—in the upcoming election. “Every seat is a safe seat for a Thackeray. Also, he is our star campaigner, so we do not want him to be restricted to one constituency,” he said.
Sena ministers, including Dada Bhuse, Sanjay Rathod and Gulab Patil along with Kolhapur MLA Rajesh Kshirsagar, have publicly offered their seats.
In an interview to HT in July, Aaditya had said that he never dismissed the possibility of contesting polls and added that he would announce the decision on contesting Assembly polls after his state-wide tour, ‘Jan Aashirwad Yatra’, wraps up. The tour will conclude on September 18 with the last leg in Thane.
First Published: Sep 12, 2019 00:39 IST