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Aaditya Thackeray: Emerging face of Shiv Sena in Maharashtra politics

This is the first time since the formation of the pro-Hindu political party since 1966 that any member of Thackeray family has contested Assembly elections.

Vikas Kumar | New Delhi |

The fresh face of Shiv Sena, Aaditya Thackeray, has made history in the recently concluded Maharashtra Assembly Elections 2019 by securing an Assembly seat from Worli, Mumbai with a whopping 69.14 per cent vote share. This is the first time since the formation of the pro-Hindu political party in 1966 that any member of Thackeray family has contested Assembly elections. Aditya not only contested but also came out victoriously.

It’s been barely four months since the soft-spoken, 29-year-old bachelor has entered into electoral politics. Initially, a section of leaders in the party wanted him to be projected as the Chief Minister of the state if the BJP-Shiv Sena again comes back to power.

Later after the tussle on seat-sharing between the two parties, Sena managed to contest on 124 seats while BJP kept the rest in the 288-seat Assembly. On the question on CM, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray deftly downplayed any such ambition or the possibility of his son sitting on the post.

During the poll campaigns, the question about the post of CM was raised to the junior Thackeray as well, but he avoided any direct answer by saying that he is already a CM, a ‘Common Man’.

Aaditya not only remained favourite of the Shiv Sena members, but even his estranged uncle, Raj Thackeray, who formed a separate political party, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) also gave him indirect support by not putting any candidate against him.

Aaditya Thackeray, son of Rashmi and Uddhav Thackeray did his schooling from Bombay Scottish School, Mahim. He went to St. Xaviers College for BA (History) and later completed his law degree from KC Law College.

Junior Thackeray took leadership back in 2010 as the party’s Yuva Sena chief. Later in 2018, he was promoted as a Shiv Sena leader.

His interest in poetry is very well known as he published a collection of poems ‘My Thoughts in White and Black’, in 2007. In 2008, he also penned down eight lyrics for a private music album, ‘Ummeed’, which was unveiled by the then Shiv Sena chief late Bal Thackeray and veteran Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan in a well-attended event.

Aaditya launched himself in 2010 in Sena style with a huge book-burning protest against Rohinton Mistry’s publication, ‘Such a Long Journey’. The book allegedly containing objectionable content related to his family, was included in the University of Mumbai’s syllabus.

Following the Thackeray legacy, Aaditya has been no less in displaying aggression and protest. In October 2015, Shiv Sainiks attacked the former BJP leader and intellectual Sudheendra Kulkarni during the launch of a book, ‘Neither A Hawk Nor a Dove’. The book was authored by former Pakistan Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasun. The act was condemned by everyone including Shiv Sena’s ally in the state, BJP. But Aaditya supported the act by calling it absolutely democratic,  non-violent and historic.

Emerging as the voice of youth in Mumbai, in 2016 he supported and proposed a 24×7 nightlife in Mumbai to boost job opportunities and boost businesses. The nightlife of Mumbai was affected post 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. Aaditya gave a voice to bring back the famed night-life in the city.

In July, Aaditya Thackeray embarked on a 5000-km ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatra’ ahead of the Assembly Elections in the state. With his steps turning big in the state elections, the speculations of him being the next CM was ablaze.

A poster was seen in Mumbai congratulating Aaditya Thackeray for winning the Worli seat and projecting him as the next CM

In his election affidavit, he declared his worth a little over Rs 16 crore. It includes movable assets worth Rs 11.38 crore and immovable worth Rs 4.67 crore. There are no criminal cases against him.