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Who is Eknath Shinde? Here’s you need to know more about The auto-rickshaw driver who is set to become chief minister of Maharashtra

- June 30, 2022

Shiv Sena rebel Eknath Shinde will be the next Maharashtra Chief Minister, the BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis said on Thursday, in a move that very few saw coming. The huge curveball capped the coup in the Sena that unseated Uddhav Thackeray a day ago. Devendra Fadnavis and Eknath Shinde met with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and stake claim to power earlier in the afternoon.

Here’s you need to know more about Eknath Shinde:

Eknath Sambhaji Shinde, until he triggered major political crisis was Maharashtra State Government Cabinet Minister – PWD (MSRDC, Public Undertaking) from Government Of Maharashtra and current Member of Legislative Assembly from Kopri-Pachpakhadi (Vidhan Sabha constituency) of Maharashtra, as a member of Shiv Sena; one of 288 members of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly.

He has been elected consecutively for 4 terms in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2019.

Early life

Shinde was born on 9 February, 1964 in Satara. At an early age, he came to Thane and completed his education till the 11th standard from Mangala High School and Junior College. He had to leave education, and started working to support his family.

In 1980, he was influenced by Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray and joined the party, working as a Sainik. During that time, he participated in many agitations, such as the Maharashtra – Karnataka Agitation over the status of Belgauvi, after which he was imprisoned for 40 days.

Once an auto-rickshaw driver in Thane city adjoining Mumbai, Shinde (58) quickly emerged as a key Sena leader in the Thane-Palghar region after joining politics and is known for aggressive approach towards issues of public interest.

Political career

His dedication to the Sena’s cause was noticed and in 1997, he was given the opportunity to contest the election of Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) as a corporator which he won with handsome majority.

In 2001, he got elected as a Leader of the house in TMC. He continued to occupy the post till 2004. As a leader of the house in TMC, he didn’t restrict himself to the issues related to the TMC or the city, but took active interest in the overall development and well-being of the whole Thane district.

In 2004, Shinde was given an opportunity to contest the Assembly Elections from Thane Assembly Constituency by Balasaheb Thackeray, and he won it with a handsome majority.

In the very next year, in 2005, he was appointed to the coveted post of Shiv Sena Thane District Head.

He emerged victorious in the subsequent assembly elections in 2009, 2014 and 2019.

After the 2014 elections, he was elected as the leader of legislative party of Shiv Sena and subsequently the Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly.

Within a month, as Shiv Sena decided to join the state government, he took oath as the minister for Public Works Department (Public Undertakings) and went on to take the additional responsibility of the Health and Family Welfare Ministry in January 2019.

Family

Eknath Shinde is married to Lata Shinde

His son, Dr Shrikant Shinde, is an orthopaedic surgeon who got elected as a Member of Parliament to the Lok Sabha from the Kalyan constituency, defeating the NCP’s Anand Paranjape, who had defected from the Shiv Sena and Raju Patil of the MNS.