Mumbai: On Thursday morning, when Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray left the family residence to file his nomination papers at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) ward office at Worli, there was a huge roadshow by the Shiv Sainiks.
Amid the fluttering saffron flags and hoardings, drums were played and thousands of party men shouted slogans to display the strength of the Shiv Sena.
This show of strength was also a clear message to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, with Aaditya declaring he was set to create a ‘new Maharashtra’.
“When I get elected, my responsibilities will not be confined to the borders of my constituency, as I want to create a new Maharashtra, with better standards of living,” he said.
Further, he stressed, he was all set to spread the tentacles of his power throughout the state.
Speaking to the media, Aaditya said he was not vying for a post in the cabinet. “CM stands for ‘common man’, which I am. First and foremost, I want to solve the problems of the people at the grassroots level,” said Aaditya.
“In the BMC, I supervised corporators in bettering the health and education infrastructure, I will continue to do so. I will pay special attention to my constituency,” added Aaditya.
Duing the roadshow, he was accompanied by his parents, the Sena chief Uddhav and Rashmi Thackeray and his younger brother Tejas. Senior Sena leaders Arvind Sawant and Sachin Ahir too were present.
Members of the alliance partners of the Sena, mainly the Bharatiya Janata Party and and Republican Party of India (RPI), too showed up in large numbers.
The procession, which started from Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, continued till Dr E Moses Road, where the BMC office is situated. Standing in an open jeep, clad in a white shirt and deep-blue chinos, Aaditya was seen greeting hordes of people.
As the jeep glided through the narrow lanes of Lower Parel, local residents showered flowers on Aaditya, while senior citizens blessed him, children ran towards him and schoolgirls vied for a glimpse of him.
Surrounded by human chains of party workers, Aaditya asked his bodyguards to be at ease, as he did not want to intimidate the public.
“I am here to serve the people, let them come to me, their blessings and love is the reason why I will be contesting the elections,” said Aaditya to one of his bodyguards.
BJP city chief Mangal Prabhat Lodha, who is contesting from the Malabar Hill constituency, escorted the Thackerays into the ward office. The popular actor Milind Gunaji also showed up in support.
Uddhav thanked his party workers. “I just want to thank the people of the state for showing so much respect for Aaditya, I assure he will leave no stone unturned in serving the people,” he said.