Aaditya Thackeray likely to be face of Shiv Sena in Assembly Polls

Mumbai: Given the air of uncertainty surrounding the Shiv Sena’s alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Aaditya Thackeray, the chief of Yuva Sena, and party’s youth wing, is likely to jump into electoral politics in the forthcoming assembly polls. According to a Sena leader, Aaditya is being pressured to enter legislative politics to boost the morale of party workers. However, he has so far remained non-committal, preferring to concentrate on administration.

Sena leaders now want Aaditya to contest either the Lok Sabha or the assembly polls, preferably the latter, so he can keep a check on the activities of party legislators. A vibhag pramukh (area in-charge) said that the party needs young leadership. “Uddhavji is busy in organisational activities.

He has to resolve issues of party workers, must focus on appointments and his day ends with meeting party leaders across the state. He cannot enter electoral politics, as he is following the path of the late Balasaheb Thackeray,” said the vibhag pramukh, who works with ground level party workers.

He added, “The party needs Aaditya’s leadership to fight the BJP.  Senior leaders who worked with Balasaheb are not happy working with Uddhavji, but the party needs their experience, so Uddhavji keeps them with him. In fact, he is trying to stike a balance between the old and young generations by promoting Aaditya.”

Another Sena leader from the Upper House said, “Aaditya is still learning politics. He would attend meetings and sit through discussions. But, this is the time, a member of the Thackeray family should break with tradition and enter electoral politics.”

Aaditya had played a key role during a seat-sharing meeting with BJP leaders in the 2014 assembly polls. “The 25-year-old alliance between the Sena and the BJP broke before the 2014 assembly polls, because BJP leaders disliked holding talks with a junior representing the Sena,” the former BJP minister Eknath Khadse, had recently told The Free Press Journal. In 2014, Aaditya was not elevated as party leader.

“After four-and-half years, Aaditya has become a leader, mature, and involved in day-to-day party activities,” said a Sena legislator. The leader further said, “Aaditya has toured rural Maharashtra, spent time with farmers, tribals and youth to understand their issues.

He attends and watches proceeding of the state legislature during the sessions at Mumbai and Nagpur. He also meets officials of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) regularly, to resolve civic issues. His entry in the assembly will change the direction of Sena’s politics,” he claimed.

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