From a modest autorickshaw driver to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, life has come full circle for Shiv Sena rebel leader Eknath Shinde.
The week-long Maharashtra political drama was nothing less than a Bollywood potboiler and full of suspense. Consider the sequence of events: It was around 4 pm when Shinde and former BJP chief minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis called on state Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
The TV channels, news agencies and digital platforms went to town with “breaking news” that Fadnavis would take oath as the new chief minister at 7 pm. Then in a complete twist, at a joint press conference addressed by Fadnavis and Shinde, the former CM announced that Eknath Shinde will be the new Chief Minister and would take oath at 7.30 pm.
Fadnavis asserted that the BJP would extend complete support to the Shinde’s Shiv Sena Government. Shinde, in turn, thanked the BJP for supporting him. “It is unprecedented that the BJP with 120 MLAs and 14 Independents could easily form the government but it did not do so,” Shinde said.
He reiterated that his key issue with the present Shiv Sena was that it had worked in variance with the Hindutva philosophy of Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray by joining hands with the Congress and Sharad Pawar’s NCP. Shinde and the rebels wanted Uddhav Thackeray to break all ties with Congress and the NCP.
Eknath Shinde will take oath as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra at 7.30 pm but without other rebel MLAs as they are stationed in Goa.
Spokesperson of the rebel Shiv Sena faction MLA Deepak Kesarkar told the media that they never expected their leader Shinde to be the Chief Minister.
Shinde told media persons that his government will follow Balasaheb’s Hindutva and the development of the state will be the priority of the new alliance, which would be a natural union.
Shinde Early Life:
Born in Satara on February 9, 1964, he moved to Thane at a young age and attended Mangala High School and Junior College until the 11th standard. He had to drop out of school and begin working to support his family.
In 1980, he was mesmerized by Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray and became a Sainik for the party. During that time, he was involved in numerous agitations, including the Maharashtra-Karnataka agitation over the status of Belgauvi, for which he was imprisoned for 40 days.
Shinde (58), a former auto-rickshaw driver in Thane, a suburb adjacent to Mumbai, rose quickly to become a key Sena leader in the Thane-Palghar region after entering politics and is known for his aggressive approach to public issues.
He landed in Mumbai and straight away went to former CM of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis’ place from there both leaders left for the Governor’s place where Eknath Shinde submitted to the Governor a letter of support of 50 MLAs to form the new government, with the support of BJP.
Earlier in the day:
The BJP core committee met at Devendra Fadnavis’ residence Sagar Bungalow in Mumbai to further discuss the strategy for government formation on Wednesday evening. Leading figures from the party, CT Ravi, Chandrakant Patil, Girish Mahajan, Praveen Darekar, and others, were present. Ravi Rana, an independent MLA, also arrived at his bungalow. The Eknath Shinde camp, on the other hand, also met today in Goa to discuss their future line of action.