As voting is underway for the Maharashtra assembly, Shiv Sena chief's and candidate from Worli constituency, Aaditya Thackeray spoke to Republic TV on Monday. He expressed his hope that people will come out and vote in large numbers. He said that Shiv Sena members will serve people in whatever role people decide for them. Refusing to speak about the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance or NCP Congress alliance, Aaditya said that due to the Model Code of Conduct, he will not say anything that may seem like campaigning or that may be a political statement. Notably, he is the first member of the Thackeray family to contest elections.
"Honestly, I am the first person from the family, everyone who has contested from Shiv Sena, the feeling is the same. All of us will have a chance to work for Maharashtra in whatever capacity we can n the next five years. Today is the voting day, today is the day of people. I hope people will come out and cast their vote for whoever they want to. Today is voter's day. Today people's voice is the loudest. Today I don't want to talk about politics. I will thank all the Shiv Sena workers who helped me. I will appeal to all to come out and vote," he said. He also took to Twitter to urge people to vote.
We have voted. Have you? Do step out and vote today! This is the most powerful voice we have. This is that moment that defines governance and the future of the State. #MaharashtraAssemblyPolls #VoteKarMaharashtra #MaharashtraElections2019 pic.twitter.com/5NfWiVyU9M— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) October 21, 2019
In Maharashtra, the 'Mahayuti' alliance of BJP, Shiv Sena and smaller parties is against the 'Maha-agadhi' led by the Congress and the NCP. A total of 8,98,39,600 people, including 4,28,43,635 women, are eligible to vote. As many as 3,237 candidates, including 235 women, are contesting in 288 seats and 96,661 polling booths are in place with 6.5 lakh staff for the voting exercise.
While the BJP has based its campaign in Maharashtra around the abrogation of Article 370, corruption charges on NCP and Congress leaders and on Sangh patriarch Savarkar, the opposition tried to corner the BJP on the handling of the economy with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi blaming the ruling party for the economic slowdown. The BJP, which is seeking a second straight term under Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Maharashtra, is contesting 164 seats, which include candidates of smaller allies contesting on its lotus symbol, while Sena has fielded candidates on 126 seats. On the other hand, the Congress and the NCP are contesting on an equal number of seats, that is 125 each.