Aaditya Thackeray to begin state-wide 'Jan Ashirwad Yatra'
Photo by BL SONI

Amid rumours of Yuva Sena chief being pitched as party's chief ministerial or deputy chief ministerial face, Aaditya Thackeray will begin his state-wide 'Jan Ashirwad Yatra' from Kolhapur on Friday.

According to DNA, the yatra will see Aaditya interact with people and the cadre in an effort to increase outreach and improve grassroots mobilisation in his first such state-wide solo initiative. Aaditya's outreach is targeted at covering at least 145 assembly seats in Maharashtra before the end of August. A senior Shiv Sena functionary told the leading daily, "The Jan Ashirwad Yatra will be launched from Kolhapur after Aaditya visits the temple of goddess Ambabai (Mahalaxmi). He will then move to the Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri, and Raigad districts in the Konkan, before returning to Mumbai. Depending on the rains, the next phase of this yatra will cover either north Maharashtra or Marathwada."

The report further suggested that Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray's son Aaditya is likely to contest for the state Assembly elections from Mumbai. Aaditya is likely to contest the state Assembly elections from either Worli or Mahim, both of which are held by the Shiv Sena. A Yuva Sena functionary told DNA, "Though he seems to be eager to contest from Worli, the final choice may be Mahim as it covers areas like Shivaji Park (where the Shiv Sena was born in 1966), Shiv Sena Bhawan and also MNS chief Raj Thackeray's residence." The Yuva Sena functionary further added, "Aaditya will be the party's chief ministerial or deputy chief ministerial face. If the BJP- Shiv Sena alliance comes to power, it makes more sense for a member of the family to be pitched for either role rather than let a party leader rise to the post and emerge as an alternate power centre."

Political strategist Prashant Kishor, who is said to be helping the Sena, was one of Andhra CM’s Jagan Reddy’s key strategists. Reddy had undertaken a similar initiative. Earlier, Prashant Kishor's team designed ‘Aaditya Sanvad’ sessions in which people, especially youngsters, asked Aaditya questions and were informed about the Shiv Sena’s vision. The Jan Aashirwad Yatra is said to be an extension of the programme.

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