Saturday, Aug 20, 2022

From Auto Driver To CM Of Maharashtra, The Journey Of Eknath Shinde As A Shiv Sainik For Over Four Decades

Eknath Shinde did odd jobs early in his career, and came under the influence of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray in 1980.

Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde.(File photo) Twitter

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Monday won the floor test in the state Assembly on the last day of the two-day special session of the House. In the 288-member House, 164 MLAs voted for the motion of confidence, while 99 voted against it. Three legislators abstained from voting, while Congress's Ashok Chavan and Vijay Wadettiwar were among those absent during the trust vote.

Last month, Eknath Shinde launched a rebellion against the MVA government led by Uddhav Thackeray. Majority of Shiv Sena MLAs sided with him, which led to the collapse of the Thackeray government. Shinde rebelled and moved to a hotel in BJP-ruled Gujarat with 21 other Sena MLAs, and later to Guwahati as the number of MLAs lending support to his camp grew each passing day, forcing Uddhav Thackeray to resign as the CM.  

Who is Eknath Shinde?

The Shiv Sena had elected Eknath Shinde as its legislative party leader in November 2019. Shinde is a prominent face in Maharashtra’s Thane district. It was Shinde who played a key role in strengthening Shiv Sena in the region. 

His son, Shrikant Shinde, is also Shiv Sena's Member of Parliament from Kalyan. 

Shinde was named Leader of the Opposition in 2014 after the Shiv Sena parted ways with the BJP. 

Meanwhile, in his tweet, Shinde has said: "we will never cheat for power and never abandon teachings of Bal Thackeray". 

"We are Balasaheb's staunch Shiv Sainiks. Balasaheb has taught us Hindutva. We have never and will never cheat for power on Balasaheb's thoughts and Anand Dighe Saheb's teachings," Shinde had weeted.

Shinde has been elected for four back-to-back terms — 2004, 2009, 2014, and 2019 — to the Maharashtra Assembly.

In 2014, Shinde was elected the leader of the Shiv Sena legislative party and subsequently the Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly for a brief period as the Shiv Sena soon formally joined the BJP government in Maharashtra led by Devendra Fadnavis. He became PWD minister in the Fadnavis cabinet.

During his over a decade stint as the MLA of the main Opposition party in the assembly, Shinde consistently raised issues concerning the state in general and Thane in particular.

Shiv Sainik Since 1980s

Shinde, who belongs to the Maratha community from the mountainous Jawali taluka in Satara, has a considerable clout in the Shiv Sena stronghold Thane. He is responsible for strengthening the party in many other places as well.

Shinde’s early career

Shinde did odd jobs early in his career, and came under the influence of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray. It was during that time he joined the Shiv Sena in 1980s and was soon appointed the shakha pramukh of Kisan Nagar. Shinde soon rose to prominence after remaining at the forefront of many agitations undertaken by Shiv Sena.

Shinde raised several issues including inflation, black marketing, hoarding of essential commodities such as palm oil by traders.

He also took part in Maharashtra-Karnataka border agitation in 1985 and was arrested. He spent over 40 days in the Bellary jail. 

Shinde's family

His son Dr Shrikant Shinde, an orthopaedic surgeon, got elected as a member of Parliament to the Lok Sabha from the Kalyan constituency, while his brother Prakash Shinde is a councillor.