Eknath Shinde: From driver to Shiv Sena LP leader

Eknath Shinde (C)

From a humble autorickshaw and tempo driver to moving to the top legislative post in Shiv Sena, Eknath Shinde has come a long way. Shinde (55) is trusted by Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray for his skills and is also close to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. 

Shinde is a first-class administrator and organiser, known for his on the spot decisions. He is a three-term MLA from Kopri-Pachpakhadi constituency of Thane district adjoining Mumbai.

His son, Dr Shrikant Shinde, is a two-term MP from the Kalyan seat of the district.

Shinde started as a humble Shiv Sainik under the leadership of the legendary firebrand leader, the late Anant Dighe and came up through the ranks. Dighe was one of the closest aides of late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray.

In 2014, when the Shiv Sena initially chose not to join the government, Shinde was brief the Leader of Opposition.

On joining the government, he was given the portfolio of Public Works Department, looking after Public Undertakings and Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation. Last year, when the tenure of Deepak Sawant as an MLC ended,  he also held the charge of Public Health and Family Welfare portfolio.

In fact, he is executing the Mumbai-Nagpur super communication highway or Samruddhi Corridor, the dream project of Fadnavis. He is also overseeing the expansion of Mumbai-Pune Expressway.

Before becoming an MLA, Shinde was a two-term corporator of Thane Municipal Corporation. During the recent floods, he oversaw the rescue, relief and medical aid operations at various places in Western Maharashtra and his home district of Thane.

A Maratha, Shinde's family hails from Satara. In his early twenties, he moved to Thane and worked as an autorickshaw driver. He came in contact with Dighe and became a full-time Shiv Sainik.

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