Maharashtra Assembly Polls: Will he be accessible, Worli wonders about Aaditya Thackeray
Local Sena leaders pacify citizens with assurances of Sachin Ahir and Sunil Shinde's continued support in addition to Thackeray scion's presence
While Shiv Sena may be riding high with Aaditya Thackeray contesting assembly elections for the first time from Worli, several residents from the constituency fear that if elected, the Thackeray scion is likely going to be rather inaccessible as opposed to previous representatives. Sena leader and Yuva Sena chief Aaditya is contesting polls from one of the safest Sena seats, with no strong opponents. However, residents may have to make do with leaders such as Sachin Ahir and Sunil Shinde for their grievances, revealed Sena sources. One of the local Sena leaders, Kishori Pednekar, said, "Aaditya ji is a state leader just like Devendra Fadnavis."
If the winning margin of 23,000 votes during the 2014 assembly election is any indication, the battle at Worli is not a difficult one statistically. Sunil Shinde had comfortably trounced Sachin Ahir — then in the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), now in the Sena. But with Aaditya choosing a safe seat, residents are questioning Sena workers about his accessibility and availability. So much so, that hardly five public rallies and meetings have been held by Aaditya during the election campaign.
Regular meetings and door-to-door campaigning are carried out by local Sena leaders. They are assuring citizens that their issues will be heard and resolved. A resident of Worli BDD Chawl, said, "There is no opposition to Sena but earlier, all our elected representatives used to be available in shakhas and on the phone. But now with the new Sena candidate, it may be difficult for us to approach him directly. If we had pending civic issues or needed help with MHADA with regards to our houses, we used to go to Shinde, but now we are not sure if that kind of access will be available."
A local Sena worker, who did not wish to be named, said, "We are facing these kinds of questions but our leaders, Ahir and Shinde, will be available for the people of Worli just like before. It is possible that their workload might increase as they coordinate with everyone but people will get immediate relief as Aaditya will obviously solve the issues of his constituency on priority."
Pednekar, who is a Corporator and is also heading the local Women's Wing, said, "Those opposing Sena would have such fears. Sena voters know that we have a strong network of workers on the ground; they need not worry. With Aaditya ji's win, they should be assured their problems will be solved. If the chief minister can get work done for his people, Aaditya ji also has his own people to get work done for the citizens." mid-day tried to get Aaditya's comments through a message on his phone but did not get a response until the time of going to press.
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