Two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mamallapuram, a coastal town 50 km from Chennai, dressed in a white half-sleeved shirt and a veshti, dhoti traditionally worn by men in Tamil Nadu, Shiv Sena Yuva chief Aaditya Thackeray on Sunday was seen campaigning for Maharashtra elections in Mumbai's Worli in the traditional dhoti of the southern state.
It was at an event in Worli, the constituency where he is contesting the state elections from, that the members of a residents' association draped a veshti around Aaditya Thackeray to honour him.
Speaking to NDTV, Aaditya Thackeray said, "They honoured me with the veshti and it's an honour for me that they did that."
A member of the association that organised the event told NDTV: "Hinduhridaysamrat (emperor of the hearts of Hindus) Balasaheb Thackeray has brought Hindus together whether they are from Kashmir or Kanyakumari, Maharashtra or Tamil Nadu. We are all supporting Aaditya Thackeray as he fights from Worli and we draped the veshti on him to honour him."
"Today PM Modi is also wearing a veshti and we are sure one day Aaditya Thackeray will be Chief Minister of Maharashtra and perhaps even the Prime Minister," he added.
Aaditya Thackeray is the first from his family to contest elections. Soon after announcing his candidature from Worli, he kicked off his campaign with posters in different regional languages.
The campaign posters read: "How are you Worli?" in different languages. In the huge posters, a picture of Aaditya Thackeray can be seen along with the phrase -- 'How are you Worli?' in different languages, including Urdu, Gujarati and Telugu, apart from Marathi.
The 29-year-old's election campaign is a significant shift from the party stand that usually sticks to Marathi for reaching out to voters.
Also, in the 1970s, Aaditya Thackeray's grandfather and party patriarch Bal Thackeray ran an anti-migrant campaign in Maharashta, accusing them of snatching jobs meant for the local population.
The Yuva Sena chief's campaign is now being seen as an attempt to woo the voters in Mumbai, a melting pot of cultures.