Shiv Sena leader and Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray became the first member of the Thackeray family to enter the Vidhan Sabha after his big win from the Worli constituency.
Aaditya, who got a total of 89,248 votes, defeated his nearest rival, NCP’s Dr Suresh Mane, by a margin of 67,427 votes. While Mane polled 21,821 votes, Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi’s Gautam Gaikwad got 6,572 votes. The constituency polled 6,305 NOTA votes as well. The Bahujan Samaj Party candidate from the seat got 1,932 votes.
Celebrations had started early in the Sena office as early trends indicated a clear win for Aaditya. A large number of Sena workers and Yuva Sainiks also took to the streets in Worli.
After Aaditya had announced his decision to contest the polls from Worli seat, the Sena had said it was targeting a winning margin of one lakh votes for him.
The constituency, however, recorded 48 per cent polling (a total of 1,29,079 votes were polled) on October 21.
“Many people assumed Aaditya was winning and either went for vacation or did not come out to vote. So, it had an overall impact on the turnout which is why we could not achieve the set target,” a Sena functionary said. Aaditya, the party functionary said, got most of the votes from all the communities including Dalits.
Another Sena leader said, “The MNS workers voted for NOTA that is why the number of such votes is high.”
The Worli seat has been held by the Sena since 1990, except in 2009, and has remained its bastion. In 2009, NCP’s Sachin Ahir won the polls with a margin of around 5,000 votes defeating Sena’s Ashish Chemburkar. However, in the 2014 assembly polls, the Sena wrested it back from NCP with Shinde winning it by 23,012 votes. Ahead of the polls this year, Ahir joined the Sena making the seat the safest for the party scion to contest on.
Since Shiv Sena was formed in the 1960s, no Thackeray family member had ever made a foray into electoral politics. This election saw a fundamental shift in Sena’s political thinking with Aaditya making a debut in the assembly polls. However, sources in the Sena said Aaditya may not join the government immediately. “He wants to go through the process of being an MLA and wants to enjoy that. So, he might a take a year or more to join the government,” a Sena leader said.