Political leader, cartoonist, orator, and a family man, it has been an illustrious career thus far for MNS chief Raj Thackeray. He is the nephew of the late Bal Thackeray, founder of Shiv Sena party. Raj Thackeray was active into politics from an early age, as he had attended innumerable rallies with his uncle Bal Thackeray
In pic: Raj Thackeray takes a look at the vintage camera on display at National Film Archive of India.
Founder of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, Raj Thackeray was born on June 14, 1968, to Shrikant and Kunda Thackeray. Raj Thackeray's father Shrikant was the younger brother of Bal Thackeray while his mother was the younger sister of Bal Thackeray's wife Meena Thackeray.
In pic: Raj Thackeray, the artist engrossed in creative artwork.
Did you know as a child, Raj Thackeray had a knack towards music and he learned to play the tabla, the guitar, and the violin? Following the footsteps of his late uncle Bal Thackeray, Raj also contributed cartoons to Marmik, the weekly magazine that was started by the late Shiv Sena supremo
Raj Thackeray's birth name or full name was Swararaj Shrikant Thackeray which he later shortened to Raj Thackeray
In pic: Raj Thackeray, a young and fiery politician is escorted by security guards. Raj's son Amit Thackeray shared this picture on Instagram and captioned it: Storm's coming.
Raj Thackeray married Sharmila Wagh, now Sharmila Thackeray, daughter of Marathi cinema photographer, producer-director Mohan Wagh. Sharmila and Raj Thackeray are amongst the political world's top power couples. Sharmila is often seen supporting the MNS leader at various public events and functions. The couple has a son, Amit Thackeray and a daughter Urvashi Thackeray.
In pic: Raj Thackeray with his family on a trip to Europe.
According to industry insiders there's another side to the politico. "He is a huge Bollywood movie buff," Ashoke Pandit, former CBFC member, had told mid-day in an interview.
In pic: MNS president Raj Thackeray at his residence, Krishna Kunj, in Dadar.
Raj Thackeray, although a powerful politician is well known for his simplicity and warmness. On most occasions, Raj Thackeray is seen donning the traditional white kurta and pyjama, which over the years has become his favourite attire. On rare occasions, Raj has been seen wearing denim and t-shirts. He is sometimes spotted on lunch outings with wife Sharmila Thackeray and good friend, Sachin Tendulkar.
In pic: Raj Thackeray with Sharad Pawar
Raj Thackeray often attends events related to social causes and for the welfare of society.
In picture: MNS chief Raj Thackeray shares a meal with his party workers at part worker Ravi Jadhav at his residence in Kuntal village, district Palghar, Vada Tehsil.
In picture: Raj Thackeray and Sachin Tendulkar attend the last rites of the latter's coach childhood coach Ramakant Achrekar, who passed away on January 2, 2018, at the age of 86 due to age-old ailments.
Back in the days, Raj Thackeray was looked upon as a natural successor to uncle Bal Thackeray (founder of the Shiv Sena). But in November 2005, Raj accused the Sena of promoting “kitchen coterie” and called it a “party run by a bunch of clerks”. In the following year, in January 2006, Raj Thackeray resigned from Shiv Sena and made his intentions clear to start his own political party in order to revive his career.
In pic: Raj Thackeray is seen with his late uncle Bal Thackeray and cousin Uddhav Thackeray, who is the current chief of Shiv Sena party.
On March 9, 2006, in Mumbai, Raj Thackeray founded the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) party. Since then, MNS has grown from strength to strength to emerge as a strong regional political party after Shiv Sena in Mumbai and Maharashtra.
Raj Thackeray's party MNS won seven seats in the 2007 Maharashtra civic elections. The figure jumped four-fold when MNS won 28 seats in the 2012 municipal elections. In the 2009 parliamentary elections, MNS-fielded candidates bagged over a lakh votes each in all the six parliamentary constituencies of Mumbai.
Raj Thackeray's party MNS' growth in Mumbai and Maharashtra came to a standstill during the 2014 election. In 2014, Raj Thackeray's party's graph started to see a decline. During the 2014 elections, Raj announced support to BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. The motive was clear, Raj Thackeray wanted to ensure the defeat of Shiv Sena candidates at any cost. But, the move backfired and all 10 MNS candidates forfeited their deposits. The Lok Sabha poll debacle continued in the Assembly polls too.
In pic: Raj Thackeray and his cousin Uddhav Thackeray.
In picture: MNS chief Raj Thackeray with his entourage on his way to meet Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
In picture: Raj Thackeray, wife Sharmila Thackeray and their kids Amit and Urvashi are seen posing for the paparazzi post casting their votes during the 2017 BMC elections in Mumbai.
Fact: Raj Thackeray and families excise their votes at Balmohan Vidyalaya, Dadar.
During the 2014 Maharashtra Assembly elections Raj Thackeray soft-launched his son Amit into politics and held road shows across the city of Mumbai. In 2017, during the civic polls, Amit started a Facebook page to interact with the youth. Amit is regularly seen posting photos of dad Raj's political rallies and much more.
In pic: Raj Thackeray is caught sharing a lighter moment with son Amit, daughter Urvashi and wife Sharmila at their Shivaji Park residence in Mumbai.
Recently, Raj Thackeray's son Amit Thackeray tied the knot with his girlfriend, Mitali Borude, a fashion designer by profession. In an interview with mid-day, Amit Thackeray was asked to name the three elements that can change the face of Mumbai? He quickly replied,
'Raj Thackeray. Raj Thackeray. Raj Thackeray.'!
In picture: Raj Thackeray interacts with the members of the media.
In pic: Raj Thackeray and wife Sharmila dazzle at the red carpet of Akash Ambani and Shloka Mehta wedding bash held at Jio World Centre, Bandra-Kurla Complex. For the event, Raj Thackeray donned a traditional kurta-churidar and matching formal shoes. Red kurta paired with a black jacket complimented his charming personality. While his wife Sharmila Thackeray was seen sporting a creme coloured Anarkali dress and elegantly embroidered dupatta. The two power couple from Mumbai looked delightful as they posed together for the camera in their vibrant Indian attire.
In picture: Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan Raj Thackeray at his residence in Dadar.
In picture: Raj Thackeray shares a light moment with BJP Mumbai chief Ashish Shelar at an event in Mumbai.
In picture: Raj and Sharmila Thackeray attend the birthday celebration of Bollywood's legendary singer Asha Bhonsale.
From book launches to social events and from lunch outings to playing the perfect hosts, Raj Thackeray has forged lifelong relations with Industry stalwarts and Mumbai socialites.
In picture: Raj and Sharmila Thackeray host Sachin Tendulkar and Lata Mangeshkar, both Bharat Ratna award winners, on the occasion of the eighth anniversary of his party MNS at his residence in Dadar.
In picture: Raj Thackeray attending the Marathi play 'Gholat Ghol' which completed 100 shows. Also seen in the picture is Mahesh Manjrekar and Sanjay Narverkar.
In picture: A candid Raj Thackeray shares a lighting moment with BJP leader Pankaja Munde at the launch of a Marathi book at Taj Lands End in Bandra.
In picture: MNS President Raj Thackeray is seen interacting with the media post his son Amit's traditional Maharashtrian wedding to fashion designer Mitali Borude in Mumbai.
In picture: Raj Thackeray and wife Sharmila attend the inauguration ceremony of the three-day Koli Festival in Mahim along with Bollywood star Salman Khan.
Raj Thackeray is not an unknown name in Maharashtra politics. Cartoonist, politician, a family man are few of the facets of his illustrious yet colourful life of the man who heads the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) political party. Raj Thackeray is known for relentlessly voicing his opinion for the Marathi people. We trace Raj Thackeray's journey in pictures. (All Pictures/Instagram Amit Thackeray, Facebook Raj Thackeray, Mid-day photographers)
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