Mumbai: Shiv Sena poaches Sachin Ahir, with eye on Worli for Aditya Thackeray
Party hopes consolidation of votes of the Worli strongman and their base will give a thumping win when Thackeray makes his electoral bow
The Shiv Sena has hit a masterstroke to keep any opposition from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in check with the induction of Mumbai NCP chief Sachin Ahir into the Sena fold. Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray, who is likely to contest the 2019 Assembly polls from Worli, on Thursday welcomed Ahir to the Sena ensuring that he will not face strong opposition here."
Aaditya has been keen on entering state legislative politics with the Worli Assembly seat in sight. mid-day on February 22 had reported about Thackeray junior's entry into active politics with the Worli constituency being his preferred seat. On asking Ahir though, he said, "This has not been discussed. Whether one is in politics or not, I am sure every person by some or other way is impressed by late Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray's personality. I am no exception to it. I would thus be the happiest person if the Yuva Sena chief contests from Worli. A Thackeray clan member would represent the Assembly segment which was once represented by me."
Ahir had contested the 2009 Assembly election from Worli. He, however, lost the seat to Sena's Sunil Shinde in 2014. With Ahir in the Sena camp now, the Thackerays have not just ensured a safe seat for the "Yuvraj" but also a thumping victory for him. In 2014, Ahir had bagged around 40,000 votes while Shinde had polled around 52,000 votes.
Aaditya at forefront
Sachin Ahir, with Aditya and Uddhav Thackeray. Pic /Pradeep Dhivar
The Thackeray scion played a crucial role in getting Ahir into the Sena camp. Even while officially inducting Ahir, Sena president Uddhav Thackeray asked Aaditya to take the lead and complete formalities like introducing Ahir and addressing the media. "Even the Shiv Bandhan — a saffron thread tied to wrists of party leaders and cadre symbolising their commitment to the party — was tied by Aditya himself as against the custom of Uddhavji doing it," a senior Sena leader said.
Speaking of Ahir, Aditya said, "The dreams to work for Mumbai and the betterment of the state are common to both of us."
Party president Uddhav Thackeray stated that besides the Sena, the power of the Marathi manoos and Hindutva was growing.
Also Read: Mumbai NCP chief Sachin Ahir joins Shiv Sena
Impressed with Aaditya
Ahir claimed that he has been was in regular touch with Aditya for over a year and the two would discuss and debate over a number of issues. "During our debates, I got impressed with the Thackeray clan's vision for the state. That is when the Yuva Sena chief suggested that Sena needed young leaders. I mulled over the offer and finally accepted it," he said. The aim and intention are clear, he clarified, saying, "I am not here to encourage a split in the NCP. My aim is to work with the Shiv Sena and strengthen the party."
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