Aditya Thackeray, the son of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, will now be a part of the party's core decision-making team. The 27-year-old was included in the Sena's national executive today.
"It's the top executive council of the party. It's a big honour and responsibility. I am asking for people's blessings across party lines for good work. Elections come and go and governments come and go but a leader needs blessings from everyone, Mr. Thackeray told reporters.
Aditya Thackeray has been promoted as "party leader" a post that is seen in the Sena as second only to the chief.
Aditya Thackeray, who led various student agitations, is the president of the Sena's youth wing Yuva Sena, which he set up in 2010. He has been groomed as Uddhav Thackeray's political heir.
Over the past eight years, he has emerged as one of the Sena's most emphatic voices, weighing in on major issues and even participating in alliance discussions in 2014.
In 2010, in his early days in politics, Aditya landed in a controversy by having Rohinton Mistry's "Such A Long Journey" removed from the Mumbai University syllabus as he felt the book insulted the "Marathi Manoos" and Shiv Sena. He defended that campaign saying he only removed it from education curriculum because of the abusive language and people were free to read it individually.
From these shaky beginnings, Thackeray Junior, who likes to write poetry, has come a long way, positioning himself as a campaigner for relatable causes, including Mumbai's clean-up and green transport. He is also pushing for a plastic ban and focusing on Mumbai's Road infrastructure which largely falls under the BMC, which his party controls.
Sources say Aditya is prepping for a big role in the national election and the Maharashtra polls next year.