Aaditya, the first from the Thackeray family to contest elections spoke to Republic TV's Niranjan Narayanswamy days ahead of the Maharashtra assembly elections in Mumbai's Worli. The grandson of Shiv Sena patron Bal Thackeray, Aaditya, contesting from the Worli extensively spoke over his constituency, his aspirations for the chief ministerial position, his party's stand on the contentious Aarey issue and the PMC bank scam amongst others. After asserting the creation of a 'new Maharashtra' and 'A+ Worli,' the Thackeray scion further elaborates on his plans to take the voices of people along upon winning the elections.
The Yuva Sena chief called Worli a 'reflection of Maharashtra' when questioned over his decision to pick the particular constituency, further elaborating on the diversity of Worli.
The Shiv Sena candidate said, "Worli effectively is a reflection of Maharashtra. You have a lot of layers in Worli. Basically everyone from Maharashtra is also living here, you have Koliwada, you have high raised buildings, you have, chawls you have slums. It's somewhat complex to work in further. There is one area that is awaiting tourism, there is one area that is awaiting redevelopment, one area is which is calm and peaceful. My plan is to first listen to all of them and take their voices ahead. It's not about my plan, I'm supposed to be mirroring their aspirations."
Maharashtra Chief Minister position
Speaking over his aspirations to become the chief minister of the state, a post that no Thackeray has ever held, the Shiv Sena leader stated that he was not running behind a 'particular post' rather enjoying the process.
"It's very kind of them to say that, but for me, I'm not running behind a particular post right now. Because I've seen so many people run behind a particular post, and not enjoy what they are doing. It is a process," Thackeray said.
Aaditya Thackeray mentioned that there are Shiv Sena MLAs and their families who have been the victims of the scam and that the MPs of the saffron party even wrote to the RBI governor Shaktikanta Das, seeking action over the concerned issue. "We have our MPs who have written to the RBI governor, they met him also and sought his intervention and action. It is a scam that has larger implications because there are people who have not got their money back. Of course, there is legal action, it has to be brought to justice. People who have lost the money, it is all hard-earned money. Some of our MLAs and their families have lost their money. One of my MLA's daughter has filed a PIL," Shiv Sena's leader said.
Praful Patel's alleged D-gang link and Aarey forest
When questioned on the alleged link that has emerged between NCP leader Praful Patel with the Dawood gang member, Thackeray said, "This investigation going on, I don't think its fair for us to say anything unless there is something concrete coming on."
Moreover, he reiterated Shiv Sena's stand on Aarey, a conflict that was witnessed between the two saffron coalition parties, saying, "We stand by Aarey, we strongly feel that Aarey should be reserved as a forest."
In the saffron alliance, BJP will be contesting on 150 seats, and Shiv Sena will fight on 124 seats in Maharashtra. Alliance partners of BJP have fielded 14 candidates on the party's lotus symbol. Meanwhile, the Congress is contesting the polls in alliance with the NCP. Both parties are contesting on 125 seats each in the 288-member Assembly and its allies on the remaining 38 seats.
The voting for the 288-member Assembly will be held on October 21 in a single phase and the counting of votes will take place on October 24. In total, Maharashtra has 8.94 crore registered voters, out of which 1.16 lakh are service voters. 1.8 lakh ballot units, 1.28 lakh control units, and 1.39 lakh VVPATs will be used in the state.