Eknath Shinde was a Shiv Sena leader and the Minister of Urban Development in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) administration. Shinde is Sena’s key leader in Thane, which is close to Mumbai, and is currently “unreachable” after apparently travelling to a hotel in Gujarat’s Surat with 10 party MLAs. He was also in charge of growing the party in a variety of other areas.

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Shinde is expected to address the media this afternoon, heralding a huge problem for Maharashtra‘s ruling coalition.

The Sena MLA recently travelled to Ayodhya with Maharashtra Minister Aditya Thackeray.

He was elected to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly four times in a row, in 2004, 2009, 2014, and 2019. Following his victory in 2014, he was elected as the Shiv Sena legislative party’s leader and, later, the Maharashtra Assembly’s Leader of Opposition.

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The Sena leader commands public support and is in charge of organising the party’s major events.

Shrikant Shinde, his son, is a Lok Sabha MP, while Prakash Shinde, his brother, is a Councillor.

Shinde is said to be dissatisfied with the party after being purposely ignored. He has a positive relationship with all parties.

The Sena strongman also has the backing of several Sena MLAs and wields great power in Sena bastion, Thane.

Also read: Who is Eknath Shinde?

Shinde is from the Maratha community of Satara, Maharashtra’s mountainous Jawali taluka. After moving to Thane, he attended Mangala High School & Junior College, Thane, and subsequently began his early career as a small labourer. He had to abandon his studies in order to provide for his family.

He received his Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree with honours, earning a 77.25 percentile. Marathi and Politics were his final year topics. While working odd jobs in his early career, he was influenced by Shivsena former leader Bal Thackeray and Shivsena’s Thane District Chief Anand Dighe and joined Shivsena in the 1980s. He lives in Thane’s Wagle estate area.