Is Aditya Thackeray in the Race to be the next Chief Minister of Maharashtra?

In its recent election campaign ahead of Maharashtra assembly elections, Shiv Sena has presented Aditya Thackeray as party’s face which has triggered the silent clash between Sena and BJP over Chief Ministerial candidature.

Is Aditya Thackeray in the Race to be the next Chief Minister of Maharashtra?

The state assembly elections are scheduled later this year in Maharashtra. Meanwhile, Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray has started to interact with the citizens in public rallies. Recently, Shiv Sena organised a month-long Jan Ashriwaad Yatra across the state with Aditya Thackeray in the lead. The party said that this yatra is aimed to thank the voters for putting them in power in the recently concluded 2019 Lok Sabha elections. 

However, with Shiv Sena pushing Aditya Thackeray forward to lead the party, the political speculations suggest that Sena is demanding that the youth leader be given a higher position in the government. Notwithstanding, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in public declared that he will be the next CM. If this is recurring, it can jolt the political alliance for both right-wing and ruling parties. 

Sena's CM Face

The Jan Ashirwad Yatra started on July 25 from Jalgaon in Maharashtra and will conclude in August end. Aditya Thackeray will be the face of the party while attempting to revive the party in certain areas of Maharashtra and will address nearly 104 rallies and other small 200 meetings. The yatra is being carried out in two phases. 

In the first phase, Thackeray will address and visit Vidarbha region along with parts of North Maharashtra and will address his final Sabha in Nandurbar. Moreover, the Yuva Sena chief will visit areas including Aurangabad and Nashik between August 17 and 31. Sena is carrying out this mega-yatra right before the Maharashtra assembly polls. 

Earlier, BJP leader and Maharashtra minister Chandrakant Patil had informed that the state assembly polls will be held between October 15-20. In mid-September, before the model code of conduct is implemented and the State Election Commission comes into the accountability, the Sena has started its campaign in the rural areas across the state. 

The internal sources have informed that in several meeting the demand for a ‘Shiv Sena’ Chief Minister has been made several times. Aditya Thackeray will be the first in his family to contest polls. Neither Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray nor his son and nephew (Raj Thackeray) has contested elections. 

During his interaction with the media, Aditya Thackeray didn’t defy the speculations and said that it will be the people who will decide whether he is eligible to become a CM or not. Recently, while putting the rumours to rest, CM Fadnavis declared that Shiv Sena and BJP will contest the upcoming Maharashtra assembly elections together unlike 2014. However, no official decision has been taken regarding seat-sharing.

The Silent Clash

Despite this, both the parties are focusing on winning maximum assembly seats. On August 1, CM Fadnavis also kick started his political campaign – Mahajandesh Yatra - from Amravati across the state. 

After Fadnavis’ clarification, it is now clear that Shiv Sena and BJP will tie-up before assembly polls. Although, both the parties are desperately pushing their 'CM face’ before the public but refrain to indulge in an intensive quarrel regarding the CM candidature.

With Aditya Thackeray as party’s face, Shiv Sena is trying to maintain their stronghold in their ongoing statewide tour, especially in the rural area. Shiv Sena is making efforts to organise interactive sessions with the youth and women in Maharashtra in order to win their trust and build their vote bank. While the BJP is trying to woo the voters by talking about the policies that they have implemented and flashing the development card.

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