In a major announcement, Shiv Sena today said that son of Uddhav Thackeray, Aditya Thackeray will now be a part of the party’s leadership at the highest echelons. Aditya is the President of Yuva Sena, a youth wing of Shiv Sena. Aaditya established the Yuva Sena on 17 October 2010 and it has units across Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir. Aditya Thackeray was named as a member of party’s National Executive. Along with the announcement of Aditya Thackeray as a senior member, Shiv Sena also announced that the party will go solo in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The party has thereby ended decades-long ties with the BJP ahead of the polls. “We will fight 2019 Assembly and Lok Sabha elections alone,” Sanjay Raut, senior Shiv Sena leader said.
At the event at NSCI in Worli, Mumbai, members of the national executive committee and deputy leaders were elected from among 180 members of the national executive. In a meeting yesterday, senior Sena leaders held a meeting at Thackeray’s ‘Matoshree’ bungalow in suburban Bandra. Former chief minister Manohar Joshi, industries minister Subhash Desai and MP Sanjay Raut were among those present at the meeting. The election in the party is being held to comply with the Election Commission’s directives to political parties to hold internal organisational elections, a Sena leader said.
Aaditya is viewed as Uddhav’s political heir and has led various student agitations at Mumbai University. Earlier there was speculation about Aditya being given greater responsibility in the organisation. Uddhav Thackeray himself became the Sena president five years ago in 2013.
“I moved the resolution for the Shiv Sena to fight the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha polls on its own in 2019,” Raut
said. He said the party will win at least 25 Lok Sabha seats (out of a total 48 in Maharashtra) and 125 Assembly seats (out of a total 288) in the state. “The BJP allied with the Sena in the name of Hindutva and the Sena kept patience for Hindutva. However, the BJP in the last three years has been demoralising the Sena and using power to do so,” Raut said.