Aaditya becomes first Thackeray to debut in Assembly

Yuvasena Chief Aaditya Thackeray outside counting centre after winning the assembly elections, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Aaditya Thackeray, the 29-year-old grandson of Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray, scripted history by becoming the first elected legislator from his family, which has held sway over state politics for decades.

The outcome of the Assembly elections is such that the Sena can stake claim to the post of deputy chief minister – making Aaditya the first member from the Thackeray clan to hold an elected office.

Aaditya's election to the Maharashtra legislative Assembly comes at a time when Shiv Sena itself is going through a transition in leadership.

The Thackeray scion's initiation in politics took place under the watchful gaze of his grandfather way back in 2010 in true Sena style – aggressive protests against the inclusion of Rohinton Mistry's book 'Such a Long Journey' in the Mumbai University syllabus.

After his appointment as the chief of the Yuva Sena, Aaditya switched gears to build a following for the party among the urban youth – the New India – which was ignored by the Sena.

Over the past nine years, Aditya has given voice to youth in the city, by raising issues allowing pubs and restaurants to operate 24x7 and allow Mumbai, Thane, Pune and all such cities to celebrate New Years' Eve as they wish, particularly in non-residential areas.

Aditya's display of his softer side, as an animal lover and a crusader for the environment, in his opposition to the Metro Rail Depot in part of the Aarey Colony, earned him new followers.

The challenge before Aditya would be to keep the party relevant and make it grow at a time when the BJP is snapping at its heels. The reduced numbers for the BJP in the Assembly election may have given the Sena just the opportunity it requires to assert itself in matters of governance in the state, rather than play second fiddle to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Aditya's multi-lingual campaign in his Worli Assembly constituency also reflected the Sena's attempt to appeal to the cosmopolitan electorate, going beyond the Sena's wont of focussing on the Marathi-speaking population in the city.

Born on June 13, 1990 to Uddhav and Rashmi Thackeray, Aditya studied at the tony Bombay Scottish School and graduated in history from the St Xavier's College. He later pursued law.

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