Rajat Sharma

Why Shiv Sena decided to field Aaditya Thackeray in assembly polls

AKB0410 On Thursday, 29-year-old Aaditya Thackeray became the first scion of Thackeray clan to enter electoral politics. Shiv Sena, the party founded by his grandfather Balasaheb Thackeray, has fielded the young leader from Mumbai’s prestigious Worli constituency.

Shiv Sena was founded in 1966 by Aditya’s grandfather Balasaheb Thackeray, and in the last 53 years, the party had never fielded any member of the Thackeray clan to contest elections. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray went to the Returning Officer with his son Aaditya for filing nomination papers.

Since this was a historic moment, the party threw its entire weight to stage a big road show as hundreds of drum-beating Shiv Sainiks took part in the march from Lower Parel to Worli. Uddhav Thackeray’s wife Rashmi and other senior ministers were also present.

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis rang up Aaditya Thackeray to congratulate him for entering the electoral fray. On his part, Aaditya posted on social media a picture of him bowing before a portrait of Balasaheb Thackeray before leaving home to file the nomination.

Uddhav Thackeray never contested elections in his life nor did his father Balasaheb Thackeray. With the changing times, Uddhav has now decided to veer away from family tradition as he wants his son to take up his mantle after going through the rough and tumble of electoral politics.

Aaditya has been fielded from Worli, a Shiv Sena stronghold in Mumbai, and it will surely send a good message to his party supporters, both in India’s financial capital and in the hugely populated suburbs surrounding Mumbai.

Already, Shiv Sena leaders have started projecting Aaditya as their chief ministerial candidate, but nobody can predict how the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance will perform in this month’s assembly polls. In the end, it will all depend on the number of seats that the Shiv Sena and its bigger ally BJP are going to win.

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