Mumbai: Throwing his weight behind environmentalists protesting the felling of trees in Aarey Colony, Shiv Sena leader Aditya Thackeray on Friday (October 18) promised to declare Aarey a forest.

"We are with the people, tribals who are protesting the felling of trees in Aarey Colony. We will declare it a forest if voted to power," Aditya Thackeray said.

The statement from Thackeray came just days after 29 people were arrested for protesting the cutting down of trees in Aarey area following the orders of the Mumbai high court.

However, the demonstrators were later granted bail by a local court.

The protestors have opposed the cutting of trees for the construction of the car shed of the Metro III project and have demanded its relocation.

When asked to comment on the statement made by Union Home Minister Amit Shah that the next chief minister will be from the BJP, Thackeray said, "If a senior leader is saying something like this, what can I say? BJP-Shiv Sena is fighting together, and Devendra Fadnavis is leading the campaign."

Recently, the Home minister had reportedly stated that the BJP in Maharashtra was open to the idea of offering the post of deputy chief minister to its ally and added that Devendra Fadnavis would continue as chief minister if the NDA came to power in the state.

Aditya Thackeray, who is contesting the Assembly elections from Worli, commented on the Ayodhya dispute and asserted that his grandfather Bal Thackeray's dream of constructing a Ram temple in the city would come true.

The 288-member Assembly in Maharashtra would go to polls on October 21 in a single phase. The counting of votes will be held on October 24.