Maharashtra Election Result 2019 LIVE: "Treat Me The Same, Nothing Has Changed," Aaditya Thackeray Says After Big Win
Aaditya Thackeray, the first of his family to fight an election, won comprehensively from the Worli assembly constituency in Mumbai, defeating his NCP rival by over 70,000 votes.
"Please treat me the same as you have in the past nine years, nothing has changed," the 29-year-old Shiv Sena leader said in his remarks to the media after his victory.
The Shiv Sena, leading in 57 seats in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly, gained leverage as the BJP, which contested more seats, failed to touch the majority mark on its own.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, Aaditya Thackeray's father, demanded that the BJP honour the 50:50 agreement made during his meeting with BJP chief and Union Minister Amit Shah earlier this year. The party indicated that it wanted a turn at the Chief Minister's post.
This set off a buzz around Aaditya Thackeray, with many speculating that the Shiv Sena may insist on the top job for him.
Thackeray junior avoided commenting on the speculation.
"It is a humbling, proud moment to see support and love for Sena. I would appeal to the media, please treat me as the same, nothing has changed... Always guide me," said Aaditya Thackeray, speaking in Marathi, Hindi and English.
The young Sena leader was widely predicted to win the Worli seat, which is a Sena stronghold.
Since his grandfather Bal Thackeray founded the Shiv Sena in 1966, no one from the Thackeray clan had ever contested elections.
Aaditya Thackeray has emerged as the most affable face of the Shiv Sena. His entry into politics helped rebrand the Sena; his roadshows and foot marches and his support to campaigns like the one against tree-cutting in Aarey endeared him to the younger generation.
Worli is among the 36 assembly seats in Mumbai. Originally a settlement of fishermen, the constituency in south Mumbai has transformed over the years with its skyline featuring high-rise buildings and modern commercial complexes.
Aaditya Thackeray says he wants to make the constituency a "model of development".
"I am ready to accept all criticism and feedback received as an MLA of my constituency. I thank the candidates from other parties who won and did not win. This is the power of the people," he told reporters after his win.