Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray”s son Aditya Thackeray will contest the Assembly elections from Worli in Mumbai, a top party source said . It will mark the political debut of Aditya Thackeray.
The 288-member Maharashtra Assembly will go to the polls on October 21 while the results will be declared on October 24.
The development comes amidst the uncertainty over Sena”s proposed poll tie-up with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), but the source said the “alliance is very much on”.
“Aditya Thackeray will be contesting the polls from Worli. He is likely to file his nomination papers in a couple of days,” an aide of Uddhav Thackeray told IANS.
The 29-year old grandson of Shiv Sena founder late Bal Thackeray, Aditya Thackeray will stand from the prestigious Worli seat in south-central Mumbai.
Aditya Thackeray will be the first member from the Thackeray family to enter the electoral fray after Shalini Thackeray, the wife of Jeetendra Thackeray, a cousin of MNS founder Raj Thackeray, who had unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Aditya Thackeray, a BA and LlB, is the son of Uddhav and Rashmi Thackeray and has a younger brother, Tejas Thackeray.
While a section of the party has been projecting Aditya Thackeray as the chief ministerial candidate of Shiv Sena, others have been clamouring for Uddhav Thackeray to take the plunge himself — developments that have not gone down well with Sena”s wary ally, the BJP.
In another move to build up pressure, Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday started distributing the AB forms to select candidates for the Assembly polls. His son Aditya Thackeray finds a mention in the list.
However, neither Uddhav Thackeray nor Aditya Thackeray has spoken to the media on the latest political measure, and the party may spring more surprises.
Ostensibly preparing the groundwork for his candidacy, Aditya Thackeray had toured the state extensively during his ”Jan Aashirwad Yatra”.
Currently represented by Sena MLA Sunil Shinde, the Worli seat was earlier held by former Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) minister Sachin Ahir, who left the NCP to join the Shiv Sena two months ago.
Aditya Thackeray was appointed as the Yuva Sena President in 2010 and was subsequently named a ”leader” of the Shiv Sena in 2018.
A fitness and sports enthusiast, he is also the President of Mumbai District Football Association.
He enjoys a considerable degree of popularity among the Gen Next, and is presently championing the cause for protecting the Aarey Milk Colony, a green lung of Mumbai in Goregaon, where the government plans to construct a carshed for Metro Line 3.
The project is directly overseen by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and the carshed has become a bone of contention between the saffron allies.
Aditya Thackeray was instrumental in enforcing plastic ban in Mumbai last year and since the past couple of years, he has been actively campaigning to give Mumbai a 24-hour night-life, starting with non-residential areas, but the move has evoked mixed reactions.