After Eknath Shinde's rebellion, Aaditya Thackeray entered the field outside Mumbai to save Shiv Sena
Mumbai: Aaditya Thackeray, who once faced criticism for favoring Bollywood stars and celebrities over Shiv Sena leaders, has taken to the streets to connect with party workers after the fall of the Uddhav Thackeray government in Maharashtra. The Thackeray family's heirs are touring different parts of the state, especially in constituencies where Shiv Sena MLAs have revolted. He has taken this initiative at a time when the Shiv Sena faction led by his father Uddhav Thackeray is facing an existential crisis.
Normally calm and gentle, 32-year-old Aaditya Thackeray has taken an aggressive stand for the last one and a half months. He represents Mumbai's Worli seat in the Legislative Assembly. He is meeting the workers through 'Nishtha Yatra' and 'Shiv Samvad' campaigns. During his tenure as a minister, Aaditya Thackeray was usually seen in pants and a shirt and at times he was seen wearing a black jacket over it and shoes of the same color. On the contrary, now he has a tilak on his forehead.
His father has faced questions over the party's commitment to Hindutva because of his alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress. In June this year, 40 of the 55 Shiv Sena MLAs rebelled against the party leadership, leading to the fall of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government. In the Lok Sabha too, 12 out of 18 party members have supported Eknath Shinde, who is leading the rebel faction. Many former councilors and office bearers have also switched sides, after which Aaditya Thackeray has to take to the road to stop this split. Unable to travel a lot due to health reasons, Uddhav Thackeray is also holding meetings with party workers and leaders at his residence 'Matoshree'. Last year, Uddhav Thackeray had a spine operation, and then for several weeks, he took over the responsibility of the chief minister's post from his home. One of the complaints on the list of complaints from several MLAs who had supported Shinde in the rebellion was that Uddhav Thackeray was "not available".
It is noteworthy that since the uprising on June 21, Aaditya Thackeray has been trying to keep the party cadre united by visiting the party's local offices in and around Mumbai as elections to Mumbai and other major civic bodies are due soon. Earlier, the talk of Aditya going to the local branches was hardly heard. He has also visited Konkan and Marathwada, a strong 'bastion' of Shiv Sena beyond Mumbai. Aditya also traveled to western Maharashtra and this visit was to instill confidence among the desperate workers in the constituency of the rebel MLAs. Aaditya Thackeray launched a scathing attack against the rebels and used something that was hardly heard before. He called the rebels "traitors", and "dirt filth" and said they "stabbed in the back" of his father when he was ill. He has also challenged the rebels to resign from the assembly and contest the elections afresh. The rebels targeted him regarding Aditya's ki.
Even some leaders loyal to Uddhav Thackeray rejected it. Rebel Shiv Sena MLA from Sangola seat in Solapur Shahji Patil said youth leaders are trying to imitate their grandfather and Shiv Sena founder late Bal Thackeray, but "imitation" does not work. Patil said, "A child like Aditya Thackeray speaks like this...the age of these MLAs is 50-60 years. Parents teach children to talk to elders with respect, but don't know whether they have been taught or not." will be difficult. On one hand, you call us traitors and on the other hand, you appeal to come back.