First 'Indian Idol' Abhijeet Sawant joins Shiv Sena


Mumbai, July 25 (IANS) Abhijeet Sawant, the winner of the first edition of the TV show "Indian Idol", joined Shiv Sena Saturday with a mandate to attract the youth to the party fold.

"I am a born Maharashtrian so it is natural that I join the Shiv Sena," he said at a special function in Sena Bhavan where he officially became a Shiv Sainik Saturday evening in the presence of party executive president Uddhav Thackeray.

Welcoming him to the party, Thackeray said that "Sawant is a well-known youth icon and the party would utilise his talents well".

Thackeray hoped that Sawant would help fulfil the aspirations of the youth, but did not indicate whether he would be given any role in electoral politics.

On his part Sawant said that he had been working among the younger generation since the past four years very closely.

"I can relate to them very comfortably and the Shiv Sena offers me the right platform to do something for the youth," he said.

To a query by mediapersons, he denied that he had sought any electoral role, particularly in view of the forthcoming Maharashtra assembly elections, or that he would use his party credentials to further his professional career.

Sawant, born in a Dalit family of Mumbai, shot to national fame after he won the hotly contested "Indian Idol" show in 2005.

An established playback singer, Sawant married Shilpa, his childhood sweetheart and neighbour, in 2007.