Maharashtra polls: Why Aaditya Thackeray matters in Shiv Sena - Hindustan Times
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Maharashtra polls: Why Aaditya Thackeray matters in Shiv Sena

Hindustan Times, Mumbai | By
Oct 04, 2019 11:49 AM IST

Shiv Sena has projected Aaditya as the chief ministerial candidate and is even eyeing the deputy CM post if the BJP-Sena government returns to power in Maharashtra.

Nearly nine years after he was launched into active politics by his grandfather and Shiv Sena founder the late Bal Thackeray at a Dussehra rally, Sena leader and Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray has become the first Thackeray to take an electoral plunge.

Shiv Sena Youth Leader Aaditya Thackeray filed nomination from Worli constituency in Maharashtra.(Photo by Bhushan Koyande)
Shiv Sena Youth Leader Aaditya Thackeray filed nomination from Worli constituency in Maharashtra.(Photo by Bhushan Koyande)

The 29-year-old Thackeray scion has come a long way from a rookie political successor looking into youth affairs of the party to influencing party’s policies, softening the party’s parochial politics, and even contesting an election himself.

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The Sena has projected Aaditya as the chief ministerial candidate and is even eyeing the deputy CM post if the BJP-Sena government returns to power in Maharashtra.

Also read: Aaditya Thackeray files nomination, declares assets worth Rs16.05 crore

A senior party functionary said, “With the changing political landscape keeping power without accountability does not go well with the voter. Apart from that, Aadityaji had the natural inclination towards playing a role in the legislative business of the state.”

Yuva Sena secretary and Aaditya’s cousin Varun Sardesai said Aaditya was always contemplating this move. “In the past four-five years, Aadityaji has been taking keen interest and played a role in plastic ban implementation and policies of the BMC. That is where he made up his mind to be a part of the system directly. He takes interest in policies and follows it up with the administration,” said Sardesai, who has worked closely with Aaditya in the Yuva Sena.

He was launched in politics at the age of 20 to head the youth wing of the party. He is at the forefront of transforming the party with fresh ideas, and is now the Sena’s card to draw young voters. Since he took over, he has gradually softened the narrow-minded approach in the Shiv Sena. After he was anointed the president of the Yuva Sena, the incidents of vandalism and misbehaving with couples on Valentines’ Day stopped.

The Sena scion has taken up several issues to strike a chord with youngsters. In 2015, he proposed 24x7 nightlife for Mumbai, which was “modern” by Sena standards. He has been instrumental in getting younger leaders, including Sachin Ahir and Priyanka Chaturvedi from other parties to the Sena. Even in his poll campaign, the Sena has given up its Marathi manoos-centric agenda, wooing voters through billboards put up in Hindi, Gujarati and other languages.

According to Aaditya, he wanted to get into politics since childhood as he was surrounded by it. Party insiders pointed out the family had planned the launch and growth of Aaditya to lead the party in the legislative Assembly.

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