Squables between Shiv Sena, BJP not a recent phenomenon: Aaditya Thackeray

MUMBAI: Aaditya Thackeray, son of Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, is in the news as he is the first member of the Thackeray family to contest an election. In an interview with Economic Times, Aaditya has claimed that he always wanted to contest the polls and that the squables between the Shiv Sena and the BJP are not a recent phenomenon. Aaditya also sheds light on what are his plans for his assembly constituency Worli if he wins.

You were the first member of the Thackeray family to contest polls? When was the decision made?
I have always been interested in contesting the polls, I would have contested the polls in 2014 however I couldn’t as I was younger (than the cut off age of 25) by 6 months. I have been interested in the legislative process for long. If you seen me in the last nine years or so I have always visited Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha budget sessions, the interest has always been there.

Your grandfather Bal Thackeray famously spoke of running the first 1995 Sena- BJP government through ‘remote control’, what made you decide to jump in to politics?
See, we have different styles, I do look up to him (Bal Thackeray) but if I try to copy him I would be mimicking him but he has never said that one person should or should not contest elections. I wanted to go through the legislative process and help the party and the state both.

Why chose to contest from Worli?
We studied a lot of constituencies, like Bandra, Sewri, Mahim, we chose Worli because this constituency is a replica of Maharashtra. Worli is a complex constituency with layers of different issues. There are high rises as well as chawls and slum colonies. There are issues of CRZ. It is a cosmopolitan crowd. There are government institutes and offices every day thousand of people enter in to Worli for work. I want to show the change that I have done in 5 years in Worli.

Worli is central to the start of the Sena story.

Some students have been expelled in Pune have been suspended for writing letters to the PM?
Honestly, this is not the first kind of incident like this, this keeps happening (throughout the country). I am sure when the PM comes to know the expulsion would be revoked. Sometimes authorities get over excited and do this. It happened in Aarey too students were arrested for just trying to prevent trees from being cut.

Speaking of Aarey, why is the Sena opposing the Metro carshed in Aarey?
The Metro carshed is not dependent on Aarey, We can have the Metro carshed at Backbay, there is alternate location at Kanjujrmarg. The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) is lying to the people, they want to commercially exploit the land in Aarey. The MMRCL has probably misguided the Chief Minister on the issue of Aarey. I have found that the MMRCL has been quite adamant whether it be on the issue of taking the Metro 3 line through Girgaum, even during the Parsi Fire temple issue they were adamant that they would take it below it. We are still hopeful of saving Aarey once our numbers increase (in assembly) we can change things.

Your father said that the Sena had agreed to lower seats because the BJP requested it to adjust a bit. However in 2014 the alliance broke in spite of the BJP offering your party much more then what you are getting now? What has changed now?
I think the negotiations for the assembly polls this time was way more smoother and more importantly it shows our commitment. It shows a commitment to the common goals and dreams we share. We are not being selfish to our selves, ministries or for a seat or two. It also proves our loyalty as a friend. Moreover we realised that people want us both, this is what we realised in the Lok Sabha polls, we joined hands for issues like the Article 370 and issues like Ayodhya.

There have been a lot of verbal attacks between the two parties in the last five years?
It was not attacks, it was differences, and the differences have always been there. The media did not notice it probably because we were earlier in the opposition. We share a common ideology but our perspectives are different our approach to each issue is different. We are two different people, we are two differences.

The sena also raised questions on the EVM?
So did the BJP, every party in the country had raised issues and had doubts, it was not just the Congress or the Sena. Today when the Election Commission speaks about it and gives their presentation then you have to go ahead with certain things.

Does the Shiv Sena still believe that the EVMs are managed?
See finally what we believe is that people will always have a voice, people should be able to trust where they are voting and we are reflection of the peoples voice. Whatever the people believe in is what we will always voice. We cannot remain isolated and we will always keep our doubts and suspicions on certain things. IF the people ask questions on the EVM and ask where there vote is going then we would voice it.

The BJP and Sena had talked about sharing equal responsibilities in the state government if you two come back to power?
Right from the Vajpayee government days, we have always maintained that we are not in it for ministries or for power. It is always been for the people and the commitment for the cause that we believe in as a party. We don’t mind sitting on any side of the fence because we are there to raise issues.


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