Setting political circles aflutter, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Thursday formally launched his 27-year-old son Amit Thackeray into politics at the party's first mega-convention here.
Amit Thackeray's name was announced by a senior leader Bala Nandgaonkar and greeted with a standing ovation by the 20,000 plus gathering at the NSE Ground, Goregaon.
Humbly acknowledging the 'abhishek' honour, Amit Thackeray folded his hands -- and taking a leaf out of his uncle Uddhav Thackeray's book -- stepped forward on the stage, bowed and prostrated, and expressed his gratitude to the party leaders and workers.
He also paid respects before the portraits of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, B.R. Ambedkar, Savitribai Phule, Prabodhankar Thackeray and Vinayak Damodar alias Veer Savarkar on the stage.
When Uddhav Thackeray was sworn-in as Chief Minister at a mega-function in Shivaji Park on November 28, he had prostrated on the stage to express his thanks to the people of the state.
"This is my first-ever address on a public platform in the past 14 years of the party and my 27 years (age)... I am truly overwhelmed. When Raj-Saheb informed me last night that I would move the Education Resolution, I felt the ground slipping from beneath my feet. This would not have been possible without the guidance and encouragement of Raj-Saheb Thackeray. I hope you will continue to shower me with your love and blessings," he said in his brief acceptance speech.
There was a loud round of applause from his parents, Raj and Sharmila Thackeray, who basked in the glory, as well as Amit's wife Mitali Borude-Thackeray, his grandmother, other relatives, party leaders and office-bearers and activists.
Thereafter, with a party flag around his shoulders, Amit Thackeray stepped forward, symbolically whipped out a sword from the sheath and waved it in the air, indicating he was ready for the political battles ahead.
With Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aditya Thackeray in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, Amit Thackeray becomes another third-generation to rise from the state's pre-eminent Thackeray clan.
Amit Thackeray and fashionista Mitali Borude had a high-profile wedding in Mumbai in January 2019 which was attended by the high and mighty of Indian politics, corporate world and film industry and socialites.
Until now, he was noticed fleeting in the shadows behind his father and other senior leaders, but in future Amit Thackeray is expected to play the role of the party protagonist.