With Dad's Promise to Balasaheb on Mind, Aaditya Thackeray Set to 'Lead Maharashtra', Seeks Ganpati's Blessing at Siddhivinayak
Uddhav Thackeray had on Saturday recalled the 'promise' he had made to his late father Bal Thackeray to install a 'Shiv Sainik' (party worker) as the chief minister of Maharashtra.
Aaditya Thackeray seeks blessings of Siddhivinayak after declaring his candidature.
Mumbai: Pitching Aaditya Thackreray as chief ministerial face once again, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut thanked Uddhav's elder son for taking up the responsibility to "lead Maharashtra". Junior Thackeray was on Sunday declared as party's candidate from Mumbai's Worli. However, a formal announcement was made by him during a rally on Monday.
"Entire Maharashtra was waiting for this historic moment of announcement. The state is thankful to you that you have taken up the responsibility to lead it. From today, the politics of Maharashtra will again revolve around Matoshree," Raut said.
Aaditya will become the first member of the Thackeray clan ever to contest an election. Shiv Sena's sitting MLA Sunil Shinde will vacate his place for him.
Addressing the rally in Worli, Aaditya said, "I am sure of victory as I have the blessings of you all. I haven't taken this decision for myself. I have taken it to fulfil the dreams of the people. This is the time to create a better state."
"Worli is considered one of the safest constituencies for the Sena, hence Aaditya's candidature has been finalised. Former NCP leader Sachin Ahir had recently joined the Sena, which will make Thackeray's win easy," a Sena source said. Ahir had unsuccessfully contested the 2014 assembly election against Sunil Shinde.
Tweaking the name of the prime minister's mega event in Houston, Raut further said that Maharashtra is set to say "Howdy, Adi!" "Look at the enthusiasm today. It looks like some day, Trump will invite us for campaigning," he added.
Raut further said that if Balasaheb Thackeray would have been alive today, he would have been too happy. "Everybody believed till now that no Thackeray ever contests elections. I say, even if that is true, it is important to make exceptions to create history," the Shiv Sena MP said.
Ever since the Shiv Sena was founded by late Bal Thackeray in 1966, no member of the family had contested any election or held any constitutional post.
Uddhav's cousin and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray had announced his intention to contest the 2014 state assembly elections. However, he had later changed his mind. If Aaditya wins the election, he will be the first member of the family to represent the people.
The Shiv Sena has been projecting Aaditya as the chief ministerial face if the NDA returns to power after the next month's assembly polls. Uddhav Thackeray had on Saturday recalled the "promise" he had made to his late father Bal Thackeray to install a 'Shiv Sainik' (party worker) as the chief minister of Maharashtra.
His statement had come against the backdrop of the BJP top brass repeatedly stressing that incumbent Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis would helm the state once again.
In July, Aaditya launched a state-wide 'Jan Ashirwad Yatra' to thank the electorate for their support in the last Lok Sabha polls and to seek their backing for the upcoming Assembly elections.
In the 2014 Assembly elections, the BJP and the Sena had contested separately over a dispute over sharing of seats. The BJP won maximum 122 out of 260 seats it had contested while the Sena bagged 63 out of 282 seats. After the BJP formed the government in October 2014, the Sena joined it in December the same year.
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