Ahead of crucial BMC elections in which Shiv Sena faces huge challenge from its erstwhile ally BJP, the Yuva Sena chief and Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray on Wednesday visited Ayodhya and sung 'Jai Shri Ram' tune while announcing that there will be Ramrajya in BMC with the blessings of Ramlalla.
This is Aaditya’s fourth visit since 2018 but it clearly aims to reiterate that Shiv Sena has not quit Hindutva but parted ways with BJP and also to lure North Indian voters who constitute about 20% of Mumbai’s population in addition to the Marathi Manoos in the BMC elections. BJP has already launched Mission 2022 to defeat Shiv Sena while it is an acid test for the latter to retain power.
Aaditya’s Ayodhya visit also drops a clear signal that he will be Shiv Sena’s face to lead the party’s campaign. The party’s move is important as it wants to broaden its base among youth and working class. Aaditya has been a member of the state assembly and is also the Mumbai Suburban District Guardian Minister and the party hopes to woo youths basically due to his out-of-the-box thinking and vision for Mumbai’s sustainable development.
As far as North Indians are concerned, Shiv Sena proposes to spread its wings in a bid to checkmate BJP which enjoys strong support from the former in Mumbai. Shiv Sena sees an opportunity to increase its presence among North Indians, especially after MNS chief Raj Thackeray’s decision to cancel his Ayodhya visit slated for June 5 following BJP MP Brijbhushan Sharan Singh demanding his apology to North Indians. Incidentally, North Indians have a sizeable presence in the Mumbai suburbs where Shiv Sena proposes to pay more attention.
Both Shiv Sena and Aaditya claimed that today’s visit has nothing to do with politics but it was purely religious. Shiv Sena put up a major show of strength as senior leaders and party workers from Maharashtra and UP gathered in large numbers.
Aaditya, who took Ramlalla’s darshan and attended aarti at the banks of Sarayu river, said a 100-room Maharashtra Sadan will be constructed in Ayodhya as a lot of people from Maharashtra visit there. “Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will speak to UP CM Yogi Adityanath and also write to him about the construction of Maharashtra Sadan at Ayodhya," he said.