College dropout, auto driver, ‘original Sainik’ — Ekanth Shinde’s rocky ride to CM’s seat
Shindewas one of the thousands of Shiv Senacadres who was always ready to hit the streets at the command of party founder, Bal Thackeray.
- He had often publicly expressed his unhappiness at the party’s change in ideology and work culture.
- He considers himself ‘the original Shiv Sena’ and as a Maratha MLA, he was an obvious choice for BJP that has managed to get back to power in Maharashtra.
AdvertisementAfter a lot of twists and turns,
The 58-year old Shinde is a four-time member of legislative assembly (MLA) and has held the urban development and PWD portfolios in the previous
An auto-rickshaw driver in Thane
A lesser known fact about him is that he was a college dropout and an auto-rickshaw driver in Thane before he stepped into the world of politics.
Shinde was one of the thousands of Shiv Sena cadres who was always ready to hit the streets at the command of party founder, Bal Thackeray. He has been a Bal Thackeray loyalist and claims to continue to be one even after dethroning his son,
Shinde has often publicly expressed his unhappiness at the party’s change in ideology and work culture. He believes that Shiv Sena has strayed too far from its main Hindutva credo and party supremo Bal Thackeray’s ideology.
He was extremely unhappy about the treatment meted out to old party loyalists like himself. However, all this worked in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) party who were unable to form a government in Maharashtra earlier.
Mollifying the Sainiks
It was widely expected that Fadnavis would be the new CM with Shinde as his deputy. However, BJP decided to spring a surprise by appointing Shinde to the top post.
BJP would not have wanted to take any chances after the former CM of the Shiv Sena, Uddhav Thackeray just before his resignation, had emotively questioned, “If I quit, can you guarantee that the Chief Minister will be a Shiv Sainik?."
Shinde considers himself ‘the original Shiv Sena’ and as a Maratha MLA, he was an obvious choice for BJP that has managed to get back to power in Maharashtra.
Shinde vs Aditya Thackeray
Former CM Uddhav Thackeray’s son Aditya Thackeray, who was the state tourism minister, took a dig at Shinde when he rebelled against the Thackerays with the support of 40 plus MLAs.
AdvertisementAccording to media reports, Aditya stated that he regretted making ‘watchmen, rickshaw drivers and paan sellers’ as ministers in the Maharashtra government.
This comment by the junior Thackeray sparked a wide controversy and Shinde received widespread public support.
“Many people told us that Congress and NCP will betray us but our people betrayed us. Many MLAs who were watchmen, rickshaw drivers, and paan shopkeepers - we made them ministers. On 20th May, Uddhav Thackeray offered him (Eknath Shinde) the CM post and he did drama,” Aditya Thackeray told news agency ANI.
Thus after a lot of drama and several twists and turns, this auto rickshaw driver managed to drive all the way to the CM’s seat, even with many bumps along the way – something he is used to.
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